“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
Anne of Avonlea, by L.M. Montgomery (Green Gables books)
We are well into 9 weeks of lockdown in the UK.
Some restrictions are beginning to ease.
But many people are afraid to go out, afraid to let their children go back to school, afraid to venture back to work.
A kind of ‘stuckhome syndrome’ has taken hold.
I get this.
What started off rather uncomfortable and restrictive, has become comfortable, safe, the new normal.
What do the experts say about ‘Lockdown syndrome’, or what I like to call ‘Stuckhome syndrome’?
Mandy Wiener, News 24: “We simply don’t have the luxury of an enduring emotional bond with being in lockdown. It is a fear we have to overcome if we are all going to survive this pandemic, be it from a health or an economic perspective.”
Zoe Williams, The Guardian: “Psychoanalyst, Lili Tarkow-Reinisch, who describes all familial love as a kind of Stockholm Syndrome said, ‘you are kidnapped into this family by accident of birth and you have to love them, otherwise you are screwed. What we might be asking of everyone during these times, she says, is to engage in some form of Stockholm Syndrome with everyone they live with because really, whatever you felt, you have to put in a box for another time.”
Bryony Gordon of The Telegraph writes: “I seem to have developed a bad case of ‘Lockdown Syndrome’, which is a bit like Stockholm Syndrome – or at least it would be, were it not for the fact that everyone in Stockholm is currently going about their business freely as if there was not a global pandemic going on and millions of people suffering as a result. Lockdown Syndrome is chiefly characterised by the belief that lockdown isn’t that bad, that it is even actually quite enjoyable. The first sign for me was when I heard myself justifying the fact I hadn’t washed my hair for two days.”
I get it. And I too have become comfortable.
But, like a small child with a birthday coming up, I cannot shake the frisson of excitement in my belly for every little morsel of ease-up we are now being offered, for every promise of a cleaner, greener world, for every tiny decision that might result in a totally different life.
‘Fortune favours the brave’ – so goes the ancient Latin proverb.
And so bravely we feel our way around UK Alert Level 3.
P.s. In other news, I’ve discovered peanut butter.
P.p.s. Our little family business is somewhat littler, though we now have satellite ‘branches’ in Fulham, Chelsea and Canary Wharf. Our Morgan Bay office is closed at present.
P.p.p.s. Summer is almost here and we are under attack from moths. So, even though we cannot go anywhere, Hubby and I will be taking a stay-cation early next month, while a masked-2m-distanced-skilled-floor-guy pulls up our manky carpets and puts down wood vinyl. We have been warned that this will be a noisy affair, but we cannot wait! When not moving furniture around, Hubby and I can be found at our allotment tending seedlings and attacking bindweed.