Local lockdown in Leicester?

Speculation abounds that government will test and initiate a local lockdown. And guess what, we might be right in the middle of it in Leicester.

After a surprise reference to an increased infection rate by Matt Hancock in a daily briefing, Leicester has been the focus of much attention. Recent stories of COVID-19 spikes in parts of the city, local supermarkets and across communities have been shared over the two weeks since.

It’s been a two weeks that has seen winding two-hour queues snaking around the city centre streets and corners entirely for the pleasures contained within JD Sports and Primark. Roads have been gridlocked around the MacDonalds drive through and there were fights in supermarket car parks. A fortnight that marvelled in disbelief at the news our own elected mayor had broken lockdown rules on multiple occasions to stay at his partner’s house, for such delights including DIY. And 14 days that has witnessed a gradual, sensible and cautious return of safe behaviours, and the promise of the reawakening of bars, barbers and bistros ready for Independence Day on 4 July.

Three months in and am I really facing the prospect of a localised lockdown in Leicester? I was relatively prepared for the last one, and it’s stark and long lasting effects were tempered somewhat by the not knowing what would happen and for how long.

Another one is quite depressing. But it leaves me with lots of questions again about the what and the how and crucially for what duration?

I asked people and Twitter a few days ago what you would do differently if we were to lockdown again. Answers were varied. Invest in Amazon and inflatable hot tubs was the choice of the most entrepreneurial. Not book holidays in advance was the lesson learned of those weary of the trials and tribulations of securing refunds or rescheduled plans. Not plan weddings, birthdays, anniversaries or funerals was cited by those for whom life has been put on pause. Stock up on essentials was another, not loo rolls or pasta, but wine and hair clippers instead. One suggested relocating to NZ.

What would I do differently? This question now seems more of a reality than an opportunity for quiet and slow reflection. Will I do more exercise, will I do more writing on that book I started, will work carry on in the virtual community I’ve been an active part of this spring?

I’ll let you know once I’ve ventured out from under this duvet.


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