Life in Coronavirus lockdown: Toilet cleaning skills and crushes on Rishi Sunak

Beatrix Clark (second from left) with her family in lockdwon - (l-r) Mike, Jess and Oli. Picture: Be

Beatrix Clark (second from left) with her family in lockdwon - (l-r) Mike, Jess and Oli. Picture: Beatrix Clark - Credit: Beatrix Clark

With social distancing becoming the norm, Beatrix Clark explores how those around her have adapted.

April 1 – It’s Day 9 of lockdown – or lockdown ‘light’ as my husband calls it given what many of our European counterparts are experiencing – and no one, sadly has shouted “April fool”.

Aside from the fact that it feels more like Day 39 – so God knows what Day 39 will actually feel like should we get there, which seems increasingly likely – all’s well on the home front.

At the time of writing none of us is showing symptoms of coronavirus, nor has anyone tried to murder another family member – both of which could easily change.

Amidst the gloomy news stories and sobering statistics, however, a few small positives are emerging which, in the interest of keeping one’s spirits up, must be celebrated.

The first is that people who have never before cleaned a toilet are learning to do so with aplomb.

Those of us fortunate enough to have benefited from help are now dividing household chores up between us and never has our kitchen looked so clean as when our teenage son donned the Marigolds a few days ago. Who knew?

We are in fact learning to do all sorts of jobs for which we have previously relied on others and, if current situation continues, will find ourselves becoming adept hairdressers, nail technicians, and possibly even plumbers and electricians. Skills which, in a post coronavirus recession with few employment options, may well prove useful.

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Then there’s technology. Up till now the family laughing stock for my inability to grasp the difference between an i-message and a normal text or embrace any platform more challenging than WhatsApp, I am becoming an avid user of Zoom for meetings, weekly Spanish classes and – accompanied by a large glass of wine and a few almonds - a virtual girls’ night. It’s not quite the Bull and Bush but suddenly seems most welcome given the alternative of zero social interaction with dear friends for weeks or months on end.

Similarly, I will seize opportunities to watch upcoming National Theatre and Royal Court theatre productions on YouTube, a medium which I’ve hitherto considered a pointless forum for cat videos and weirdly named beauty vloggers.

Exercise too - whether in the park or our living rooms – has received a major boost. Even friends who rarely partake are relishing daily walks in air that’s noticeably fresher, and many of us are experimenting with new digital incarnations of yoga, pilates or keep-fit.

Doing things we wouldn’t normally do and liking things we wouldn’t normally like are inevitable by-products of the strange circumstances in which we find ourselves.

One friend (a successful fund manager) has developed a mild crush on Rishi Sunak and another (an accomplished obstetrician) is using Instagram to analyse which shade of hair dye to order.

Hopefully when these dark days are over, we and those we care about will emerge with our health and our sanity in-tact, and laugh in an actual bar at some of the bizarre behaviour perpetuated by Coronavirus induced cabin fever. In the meantime I’ve just downloaded Houseparty – and mine’s a Pinot Grigio.

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