Katie and Kim's quiz in the middle of a hat-wearing speed round

More from Lockdown Life

I’m cobbling together a blog post, even though there’s obviously slim pickings to write about, because this is still a remarkable time to be alive and when I look back in future I don’t want to have completely forgotten what it was like.

It goes without saying that Randi and I have things comparatively very easy, with little sacrifice required. We’re both busy with work during the week, but have plenty of space to get work done from either end of our (miraculously extendable) dining table. Thanks to a prompt delivery the other week we’ve even been upgraded to a full monitor/keyboard/mouse set-up each, and of course there are no children or elders for us to be responsible for aside from the rota of elderly relatives to call which has been distributed around my family via Google Sheets. I sometimes think my Grandma wishes she could apply for a GDPR opt-out from these calls.

The real highlight of the weeks are the Thursday-night pub quizzes hosted by Katie and Kim which gather a decent audience over Zoom and are always really fun to play together, even if Randi and I (or team Hyper-Adipovid!) can only ever muster a middling-to-terrible result. And of course there is a pause at 8pm while everyone in the UK leans out of their windows to clap and cheer and bang pots and pans together for all of our amazing NHS workers and other carers on the frontline. It was pretty lovely the first time this happened as we looked up and down our street and suddenly saw everyone who lives on our road out together for the first time.

Katie and Kim's quiz in the middle of a hat-wearing speed round
Katie and Kim’s quiz in the middle of a hat-wearing speed round

My oddest lockdown experience was last Tuesday, when I had a blood donation appointment at the West End Blood Donor Centre near Oxford Street. Since this was legitimate medical travel (honest!) I thought I might enjoy the opportunity to ride the Tube in this twilight state but it just ended up being a bit paranoia-inducing. It’s obviously not possible to stay 2m away from anyone on a still decently busy London Underground carriage and if the last few weeks has taught me anything it’s how quickly I can become conditioned to react to any other nearby human as a potential mortal threat. Perhaps this is a window into the minds of those who have always hated busy cities…

Anyway, while the journey there-and-back was unsettling, it was totally worth it for the extended interactions once I got to the donor centre itself with – gasp – other real-life human beings! Great experience. Would recommend. Just not right now.

An almost-empty Oxford Circus
An almost-empty Oxford Circus
Stay at home. And kudos to TfL for sending a follow-up email to ask whether my journey was actually necessary.
Stay at home. And kudos to TfL for sending a follow-up email to ask whether my journey was actually necessary.

P.S. I do admire the attempt to stage a socially-distanced HIGNFY last night, but it did feel like watching the awkward few minutes of banter before a Zoom conference call…

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