When thinking about the lockdown that the UK entered into at the beginning of this year, most of the thoughts which immediately come to mind are likely to be negative. However, this time of uncertainty gave many people the opportunity to grow closer to one another. For me, getting to spend a lot more time with my family allowed us to develop a bond that had been absent in recent years.
The UK lockdown implemented by Boris Johnson in March 2020 meant that I got to spend almost four months back in my family home, thus getting the quality time with my family that I had been missing since being away at university. I am by no means suggesting that I don’t enjoy living in Southampton with my friends, but there is something reassuring and comforting about being with your family during a crisis. And there has been no crisis bigger in this country that I have experienced first-hand than the Coronavirus pandemic.
We were forced to stay inside and not go to work, inevitably leading to boredom as most sources of outdoor fun with others were prohibited as well. However, this meant that my family and I were made to grow closer, which was definitely needed. It’s quite easy to take your loved ones for granted, and the lockdown situation was a big reality check for me about the importance of a good family relationship.
Being blessed by nice weather throughout the four months spent back with my family could only mean one thing. Barbeques. And lots of them. They may not be great for your waistline, but they are certainly delicious. Complemented by a variety of different games, including Top Trumps and our own version ‘heads up‘, the high volume of barbeques were also guaranteed to be high in quality. The heads up game usually brought about the most laughs, mainly due to the inside jokes which always tickled each other’s funny bones. Moments spent laughing along with your family, especially in a time of apprehension, are incredibly important, and these snippets of happiness played a big part in my ability to stay calm through the worst of the pandemic.
Another activity that came to life during my time at home in the period of lockdown was a good old-fashioned pub quiz. I stumbled upon a Facebook page in the middle of March titled ‘The Virtual Pub Quiz’ which has since become a very popular Facebook and Youtube event. Each week on both a Thursday and a Saturday evening the family and I sat down, had a few snacks and engaged our brains in five rounds of tricky general knowledge questions. Our competitive nature made this twice-weekly event a fun but heated one (even if we did work as a team).
Even though as a whole, the experience of lockdown and the COVID-19 situation has not been overly positive, there are still some brighter things to draw from this bizarre experience. Growing closer to my family and re-establishing a connection that had been lost over the past few years has been refreshing, and something that I had needed in my life without realising. It is just a shame that it took a global pandemic for it to happen.