In among all the millions of words being crafted from people in lockdown I have no sense that I have anything original to say, but I would like to talk to my future self. To make some kind of record of what this feels like in my household, and what I wish I had done to prepare.
In fact, I don’t blame myself for being unprepared. The whole country was unprepared and a little less witch hunting would be a good thing. I’m sure the NHS will be stockpiling PPE for ever more, and I truly hope we, as a country, have a proper think about social care.
So without becoming an out-and-out prepper, what will I change in the future? In the end there have been plentiful supplies of lavatory paper, so that was a bum steer. I have run out of yeast, and that cannot be bought anywhere. I bought one extra mini tin, that wasn’t enough. And bread flour. I had quite a lot of that but am nearing the end of my white flour, and it is still not available. Since I make a lot of bread normally, I should probably keep a bit more of that in stock. Normal flour is also hard to get hold of, and since I get through that at quite a rate, I would probably stock a bit more of that. No baking stuff is ever likely to expire in this house, at least until the kids leave home.
Pasta comes and goes. But I usually find it, in some shape or form. I dream of those giant packs that you find in those lovely stuffed aisles in the superstores.
In short, we have nothing much to worry about. I have friends still out working in the community, but we are shut off. I feel worried about the world, but also slightly drugged. It’s difficult to fully engage when you are not allowed out into the world. It’s difficult not to feel embarrassed at how insulated we are in our big house, big garden, no real health fears. My offers of help locally have not been needed.
I am trying to keep the kids sane, in between shouting at them… but they would be very worried if I didn’t lose my rag every so often.
So how to be prepared? Perhaps that is not the point. I think if we come out of this lockdown with one thing, it is the knowledge that we will muddle though. Perhaps, in fact, we are too prepped in our normal lives? No one will starve. Friendships need to be nurtured; family drawn closer. The sun will shine again. Actually the sun shone most of the way through. Maybe this was a little celestial wink at the strange anxieties we brought to the Covid-19 lockdown, when the illness was the only real concern?