45 / 55

David Chambers


I followed the news of the pandemic with interest at the beginning of the year. I am not concerned about my mortality and the pandemic didn’t change that. We all have to die at some point. However, as it became evident that the virus was deadly and was spreading, my wife and I developed a cautious respect for the risks it might present. Our daughter did our food shopping and we were careful not to go to places where there were too many other people.

We were planning to go on a long trip this year to visit family and friends in other parts of the world. It started to dawn on us in March that our plans might be impacted by the virus. I became concerned for my son who lives with his wife in northern India. While they have not come into contact with the virus, their business is dependent on tourism and by March it was clear that their income was going to be very limited this year. It has and continues to be a very worrying time for them. I feel fortunate that the biggest inconvenience for us is that this trip had to be postponed.

We live in a two generation property and our home has been undergoing renovations. At the beginning of lockdown the normal high level of activity stopped. With the schools closed and the builders gone, I found myself drinking coffee with my grandson a lot. We had long deeply reflective conversations about what was going on. It was wonderful to have this extra time with him and to appreciate the different perspectives of the younger generation. He was looking forward to going to university and it wasn’t clear what was going to happen with that for a long time, but he took it in his stride.

I was amazed at how our granddaughter adapted to home schooling. It didn’t seem to bother her too much not being at school and she would spend her mornings talking to her teachers through her computer. She loves gymnastics and had me watching her routines on the trampoline in her “PE lessons”.

Undoubtedly being required to stay at home was made much easier by the glorious weather we had. I spent a lot of time outside in the garden and doing jobs around the house. I continued to paint completing one landscape painting and then a portrait. We walked our dogs on the cliff paths and the beaches when we could and we felt fortunate that our experience was mainly positive during lockdown. Life was much simpler and there was a lot about that that I liked.

We know that for many of our friends their experience was very different, some found the restrictions very hard to accept and many felt isolated.