The coronavirus pandemic will become a part of social history and at some point will feature in classroom lessons. Life has changed consierably for many people due to the lockdown imposed by the British Government almost two months ago. People are learning to cope with it in many different ways. Many people are struggling to cope with their change in circumstances.
It is the biggest national emergency since World War 2. Lockdown rules mean that unless they are frontline staff going to work then people are not allowed out unless they are caring for somebody, going to purchase essential supplies, going for a medical appointment or permitted daily exercise. Once lockdown commenced the UK Government distributed "shielding" letters to all those considered to be in the at risk categories.
Schools and the majority of businesses have had to close. Many businesses may never recover financially despite government support. Restrictions have been placed on travel and additional laws have been speedily introduced in order to enforce lockdown rules. The Government has been giving a daily live broadcast from 10 Downing Street. There has been a scandalous shortage of personal protective equipment for frontline staff. There have been a number of temporary "Nightingale" hospitals built across the country in sports halls and conference venues in order to cope with the "worst case scenario". Today the First Minister of Wales has announced that the lockdown will continue for at least another three weeks here.
Despite these difficult circumstances they have been amazing access of kindness shown by the British Public. Many are voluntarily producing protective equipment for local NHS Staff and others have been volunteering in their own communities. Every Thursday evening at 8pm people stand on the steps of their houses and clap for the NHS and all frontline workers.
Knowing that I would be isolating for longer than the general public I decided early on that I would do a regular video diary for my Facebook page and aim to update do a blog post a week.
In the last couple of weeks I have been thinking how I should make a more tangible record for future generations. I've begun to draft a written account of my time during lockdown and I'm thinking of submitting it our local archives later in the year. The local archives are asking for submissions so that they can create a "time capsule". I know how much I enjoy making my own discoveries when researching my family tree so I'm hoping that future generations will find records of the lockdown/self-isolation just as interesting. Yesterday the National Portrait Gallery launched a photographic campaign called "Hold Still 2020" to encourage people to document their experiences. of life during the virus. The deadline for entries is 18 June 2020. One hundred portraits will be featured in an virtual gallery and a selection of images will be exhibited across the UK later this year. The project is open to all ages
What kind of record will you choose to create during the pandemic?