Coronavirus: Lockdown is making quizzers of us all

Beatrix and Mike Clark (top centre) taking part in their first Zoom quiz. Picture: Mike Clark

Beatrix and Mike Clark (top centre) taking part in their first Zoom quiz. Picture: Mike Clark - Credit: Picture: Mike Clark

In her latest report on home life during lockdown, Beatrix Clark discusses how Ozark, drill music, quizzes and rosé are helping the family get through it.

We’re up to around week five – I’m losing track - and tempers are starting to fray, not least those of my husband and our neighbour (fortunately not one we know) in an altercation about music volumes. I get next door wasn’t enjoying our son’s drill – I’m not a big fan either – but he could have just asked for it to be turned down. Instead, he sought revenge the following Saturday afternoon by deliberately trying to deafen us with two hours of death metal not dissimilar to one of the torture devices used by the Mexican cartel in Ozark, season 3 (worth watching if you haven’t seen it already).

Relations have not been facilitated by a large piece of render falling off our chimney and narrowly missing said neighbour’s girlfriend. This, obviously, constituted an emergency requiring repair measures to be put in place immediately – not straightforward in the midst of lockdown but how very exciting it was to see a non-family member, albeit our Polish builder, for the first time in weeks.

Inevitably given the enforced and unnatural proximity in which we’re all living, with no ability for young people to see girlfriends/boyfriends/friends or for anyone to engage in activity outside the home apart from our daily exercise (thank God we still have that), and the growing realisation it might be this way for months, tensions will surface.

Whilst out walking I’ve heard a fair few raised voices and we’ve had several heated discussions ourselves – but thankfully we remain coronavirus free, the cherry blossoms are in bloom and Sainsbury’s are selling magnums of rosé for sixteen quid.

In the absence of the real thing online interactions and social lives continue to gather pace, with Zoom pub quizzes (complete with a Covid 19-shaped trophy), boozy brunches and holiday-themed corona cocktail parties – the latter presenting a welcome opportunity to purchase new accessories in the shape of flower garlands and a pair of pineapple sunglasses. Not quite the summer wardrobe update I’d envisaged.

Conversation too is becoming increasingly bizarre. Food bank gossip and parcel dropping anecdotes are currently hot topics, with a sizeable chunk of a recent video chat spent comparing notes on Brent postcodes, items sent back by clients (so far tuna and tampons) and the fact there’s an actual person in the Whatsapp group called Neil Diamond.

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As inherently social beings we welcome these connections with friends and a life that suddenly seem out of reach as each of us, in our own way, navigates the maelstrom of emotions and unanswered questions that this coronavirus pandemic has created.

So, though riddles and general knowledge aren’t my forte and I last answered a geography question in the early eighties, I’m gearing up for this weekend’s quiz because there’ll be pals there old and new, and right now it’s all we’ve got. Now...what’s the capital of New Zealand and can someone please explain to me Word Smash?

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