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A family in lockdown

On 23rd March 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK would go into total lockdown in an attempt to slow down the spread of Coronavirus.

This meant that unless you were a key worker, we were ordered to stay at home. Work places, gyms, pubs, hairdressing salons, parks and schools were all closed until further notice. In fact, for a few weeks, something like half the world’s population was in lockdown.

The only times our government allowed us to leave the house was to do essential food shopping, pick up medication, and one form of daily exercise, with members of our own household. No in-person socialising was permitted. Zoom video calls became an essential way to stay in touch with friends and family.

Total lockdown went on for seven weeks. Businesses went bankrupt, people lost their jobs, and people were dying. As of 11 May 2020 the death toll stood, conservatively, at 33,000 in the UK.

The photos show my husband Dave, my two daughters Mabel (13) and Dora (11), my mother Geraldine, and occasionally me.

While at times things were tense, we mostly had a lot of fun, and real quality time together. We created a mini festival in our back garden, we had bbqs, we camped, we played badminton, we transformed the caravan into a whittling workshop and then a cafe, we dressed up, and we learnt poker.

Mabel baked cakes and biscuits, more than ever before, and threw herself into photography, and Dora celebrated her 11th birthday without leaving the house, which she said was the best ever. And during our homeschooling session I realised that Dora was much better at maths than me. As there was no school for the foreseeable future, both girls dyed their hair, permanently, using KoolAid.

With all my new unallocated time, I spent ages in the garden, and created a raised bed full of veg. I also got into taking self portraits, attempting to replicate famous paintings. And I discovered how the boot of the car could be repurposed into a secret cupboard.

The furthest I went during lockdown was to deliver a weekly grocery shop to my uncle Adrian who lives in Belmont. He had recently had a hip replacement and was unable to get to the shops.

My mother’s carers were no longer able to come, but between us all we looked after her and got the jobs she needed done.

My photography work was either postponed or cancelled, but Dave’s work became busier than ever. He spent a large percentage of lockdown on video calls. When not working, Dave seriously got into the teenage dancing app TikTok.

Lots of awful things have happened as a result of this pandemic, but for me personally this was a healing time. Time to slow down, breathe, and take stock. As well as giving me an essential creative outlet for my photography, these pictures provide some insights into one household’s experience.


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