Reflecting on Lockdown Life As We Prepare to Emerge From Our COVID-19 Cocoon

Lockdown has felt like the strangest limbo version of life.

Ontario, the Canadian province we live in, is entering phase 1 of turning itself back on again after 9 weeks of flattening the curve.

Here are a few reflections I’ve had over the past 9 weeks, which I’ve been jotting down as we go.

A big small world

For me, everything feels less “compartmentalized” globally now.

We all got sick together, as a planet. Our economies suffered together, as a planet. And sickness and economic suffering are still happening.

Strength in numbers has come to mean strength in isolated numbers. And vulnerability in physical proximity.

Viruses don’t care about borders

I understand more than ever that borders are not impenetrable to tiny viral invaders.

I understand more than ever the importance of an active economy, and the challenge of balancing physical health, mental health, and economic health.

Daily life has become tiny and quiet

Our contribution has been to stay home. Our role is to help stop the spread by staying away from others.

We know the world and situation are constantly evolving, but it has also felt like someone hit the Pause button on reality.

The spectrum of experiences for this pandemic is vast

For us, it could be described by words like isolated, quiet, eerie, simple, and confined.

For essential workers, the description would certainly be a lot grimmer.

For those who experienced illness or the death of a loved one, the pain must be unimaginable.

We don’t know what “normal” will look like after this

You don’t get to know how history will unfold as it is happening.

But we do know that the Global Pandemic and Great Lockdown of 2020 will make the history books.

There are silver linings

I have been reminded to appreciate everything that we have.

I’ll never resent all the extra time I’ve had with my kids and husband (even though the flip-side also meant occasionally overdosing on each other’s company).

I’ve finally started to miss other humans

I told Jesse the other day that I think I’m ready to start seeing other people.

“Socially,” I added.

He thanked me for specifying.

I’m conscious (and a little self-conscious) of my privilege in this situation. As hard as parts of this have been, my family has been very much “okay” this whole time.

But these thoughts have been on my mind over the weeks (months), and I figured I might as well share them, because pushing myself to do the uncomfortable is almost always valuable practice.

How has this all been for you?

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

19 thoughts on “Reflecting on Lockdown Life As We Prepare to Emerge From Our COVID-19 Cocoon

  1. We (me and my parents, who live together, and my sister and brother-in-law who don’t live with us) been OK, but Mum is immuno-suppressed because she’s having chemo therapy, so although lockdown has mostly been OK for us, there has been the constant fear of what if Mum got coronavirus. I’m not sure how much of that will go away just because lockdown is ending, as her chemo is going to carry on for some time.

    It’s been hard on my parents not seeing my sister. They were glad I was with them, as was I. I’m an extreme introvert, but I think even I couldn’t have managed two months completely by myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sending you so much positivity and hope for your mom. Chemo plus coronavirus fears… I can’t even imagine the level of anxiety that would cause.

      Extreme introvert makes me think of The Minimalists podcast — one of them identifies as an extreme introvert.


  2. Our area is also starting Phase 1 today. Most things will not change with our family, based on choice, as far as we know. We think Spouse is still working from home. Both children are still studying from home. Our therapy schedule is still lighter than it has been in more than five years.

    Younger Child will start a babysitting/caregiver role sometime in the next two weeks with a neighboring family with whom we have a verbal agreement about whom we see, how to keep each other safe, etc. Once any of their kids goes back to daycare, Younger Child will stop watching any of the children. We feel a little sour about this because a lot of it is, ostensibly, to keep us safe since we are an at-risk group.

    Older Child plans to go on hikes with one friend at a time, which technically was available the past few weeks. But these friends had been living and traveling in some of the hardest hit areas on our continent, and so distance was a way to keep everyone safe.

    Older Child and we will continue to watch birds together, close to home (we haven’t traveled beyond 20 minutes via car and usually within 10 minutes), as May is the best month of the year for species totals, including lots of migrants who just pass through.

    We are less interested in economic issues in our household than probably the average Western household. They affect us for sure. We have much anxiety about it. We just focus on it less and pursue it less than other types of security and prosperity (health and trying to love one another). That is not a judgment. Just something we perceive that may or may not be accurate. We are fortunate in that government assistance (for us), Spouse’s low-wage job (which Spouse loves and brings much joy to Spouse and much healing to the community), savings, and occasional (reluctant on our part) assistance from parents keeps us in our home.

    Nothing will be “normal” until we have time five days per week to be alone, breathe, becalm, Shake, Dance, meditate.

    We are using the shelter-in-place time to try to learn more Nonviolent Communication, to practice it in our parenting and partnering, and healing. We do not know the outcomes, and we will try not to attach to them. We think we are doing our best in parenting and Spousing.

    We have backslid in self-compassion, internal cooperation, feeling safe, practicing presence. Really all our healing has taken some steps back, even as we try to grow in Nonviolent Communication. Lots of moving parts. Lots of self-hatred and feelings of abandonment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I continue to appreciate your insightful, vulnerable, thoughtful comments and sharing πŸ–€πŸ’–

      I understand the desire for 5 days per week of time to decompress. I feel it, too, as much as I love the extra unscented time with the kids. It’s a lot of time to be “on.”

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve backslid 😦 It’s understandable but I’m sure it’s not easy.

      What migrant species are you hoping to see?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haven’t yet seen this spring a Bay-breasted Warbler or an Orchard Oriole. Could still see the former. Without being able to travel an hour away (still discouraged to travel), the latter is unlikely

        Being β€œon” is so pre-2015 for us lol.

        Thanks for accepting us. We feel safe here with youπŸ’•

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A nice summary of the pros and cons of what we have been going through over the past couple of months (which seems WAY longer than that in retrospect). You make a good point about balancing physical, mental and economic health. We have to be careful that the cure doesn’t end up being worse than the illness. We cannot eradicate this virus completely, no matter how much we shut down or how long we shut down. That will take its toll in other ways. At some point, we need to start getting back to “normal’ and let this thing play itself out. At the same time, doing what we can to be smart, such as continued physical distancing and diligent hygiene.

    On the other hand, for those with youngsters at home, this has been a once in a lifetime (hopefully) opportunity to have a huge amount of quality time with the kids. It may never come around again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such a tough balance to strike, when we don’t know everything about the virus or how the coming months will play out.

      And it’s definitely been a lot of time (some quality, some cranky) together πŸ™‚


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