COVID-19: Full lockdown begins & the second week at home

COVID-19: Full lockdown begins & the second week at home

After last weeks move to working from home, and a weekend with the news full of images of packed parks, it became inevitable that stricter measures were about to come into force which became reality on Monday when the UK government announced the next stage of lockdown. At this stage, that means we can only leave home for small range of reasons, such as buying food or one form of outdoor exercise a day.

The main focus as we started this week became trying to find a sensible routine that keeps us healthy and follows the lockdown advice. This became particularly important during the week as the reality of how long this lockdown may last started to sink in.

Getting outside

The lack of a clear physical divide between home and work makes it easy for them to completely blend into one. To manage this, the two main steps we've been aiming to take are keeping to consistent working hours and getting outside for fresh air straight after work. This provides a detox time between work-mode and home-mode, and ensures we get a little bit of activity each day.

View into Ravenscourt Park at sunset
Looking throug the fence into Ravencourt Park; closed due to the crowds seen over the weekend

As theres only a small window of time between the end of the day and sunset, this has given us the challenge of finding places to walk where we can maintain sensible distancing between us and other people. In Hammersmith, our local council took the decision to close all parks as so many people had ignored the social distancing advice over the weekend. This seemed to move some of the problem to other scenic areas such as the Thames Path along the river and so over the course of the week we explored different routes to ensure we kept the right distance. Hopefully, this will get easier over time as the daylight hours gain us additional daylight.

Going for these walks has been a great reminder of just how nice our local area is and how lucky we are to have a variety of options available to us.

Sunset view of a residential street in West London
View along the River Thames looking from Barnes near Hammersmith Bridge
View within Holland Park
View of a near-empty Kyoto Garden in Holland Park
Kyoto Garden, within Holland Park, is usually packed full of people but now it is tranquil with just a lone Heron standing on the bridge

Over the week new signage went up to encourage people to adhere to the social distancing requirements, and people seem to be slowly taking these more seriously and leaving more space between us all.

Banner by Hammersmith & Fulham Council encouraging frequent hand washing
2 yellow lines and "2m" spray painted on the ground at the entrance of Holland Park
Painted lines at an entrance of Holland Park encouraging social distancing
Billboard with the slogan "Don't be an arsehole; leave that loo roll"
Billboard in Shepherd's Bush responding to the panic-buying of toilet roll


After a couple of weeks of overcrowding and stock shortages causing chaos in the supermarkets this week saw our local store starting to introduce more stringent measures to get things under control. Sticking to the government guideline of only essential shopping and infrequently as possible meant we're now adapting our shopping patterns to minimise the shops we need to make, with only one of us making those trips.

Food remains one of lifes simply pleasures, and in this lockdown preparing and eating a decent meals will be an increasingly important part of our day.

There was a lengthy queue along the front of the supermarket, but it was fast moving. Once inside, the store was well stocked and with most things now back in stock.

Clap for carers

A particularly moving moment this week was clapping for carers. At 8pm on Thursday, up and down the country people stepped out onto their driveways or leaned out of their windows to applause as a small gesture of thanks for all those thousands of people in the NHS and other essential services who are risking their own health whilst everyone else stays safely at home.

London isn't somewhere where the word "neighbourly" tends to come to mind, so I wasn't too sure what to expect for clap for carers. Turns out, I was pleasently surprised when a large wave of clapping, banging and whistling ran out across the street and beyond.

A brief moment of social unity in an otherwise isolated time.