The last few weeks have undoubtedly been hard for everyone as we learn to navigate staying home, not seeing friends and family, working from home and home schooling, all with the constant threat of a global pandemic rumbling away in the background. However, we decided it was time to have a look at the lighter side of lockdown – some of the more amusing and light-hearted moments we’re experiencing in this strange new world!
Here are our top six:
1. Discovering the perils of video conferencing
For many of us, video conferencing has become a regular part of our working lives for the first time. We have discovered that with this comes great peril. The amount of planning required to look acceptable is overwhelming: brushing hair, having a shower, changing out of pyjamas (at least above the waist) are all logistical feats in the time of lockdown. And how many of us have joined a meeting thinking it’s a call but discovering too late that it’s actually a video conference?
Worse are some of the issues that fellow workers have experienced. From the boss that accidentally turned her head into a potato on Zoom, to the colleague who only realised her video was turned on after her colleagues had watched her go to the loo, the potential for career defining moments is high! Here are a few of our favourite video conferencing fails.
2. Discovering what you actually look like
Is it just us, or has anyone else been shocked by having to view their face multiple times each day on video calls? Never have we looked at ourselves so much – and the camera angles are terrible. Much has been written in the media about ‘video conference neck’ and a whole new industry has sprung up of Instagram ‘influencers’ guiding us on how to perfect our lighting or make-up to avoid scaring colleagues during video meetings. See the BBC’s Worklife for some tips. Personally, we hope that some of the amazing innovation that has emerged since the outbreak started will focus on incorporating better filters and age reducers on the video conference platforms – it only seems fair.
3. Family workouts
Whether it’s daily PE with Joe or jogs around the neighbourhood, never before have households exercised together as much as during lockdown. This has the benefits of being a rather lovely bonding experience, but can also be highly traumatic for the average teen as they watch their dad attempt the Joe Wicks ‘kangaroo jump’ or even worse, the spiderman lunge; something their eyes will never unsee. Expect exercise to become a solitary pursuit post-lockdown, with children refusing ever again to been seen in public with parents wearing dubious ‘leisure wear’ or be yelled at, sergeant major style, to ‘burpee faster’.
4. Anti-bac spray is the new must-have
One feature of lockdown that doesn’t seem to be going away is the dramatic change in what constitutes the highlights of our week. Finding an online shopping slot or a new home delivery service now generates the level of excitement previously reserved for winning the lottery. Even worse, items that might previously have been thought of as, dare we say it, rather dull have now taken on almost mythical quality. For example, anti-bacterial spray and hand sanitiser are guaranteed to invoke actual shouts of joy when discovered on your weekly ‘essential items’ shopping trip, and bread flour and yeast have suddenly become must-have items for the average household. Apparently we’ve all become a nation of very hygienic bread bakers!
5. And talking of hygiene…
Many of us have become cleaning ninjas, spending hours buffing, wiping and polishing to levels unseen outside of Downton Abbey. Having steam cleaned our floors (week one), wiped our kitchen cupboards inside and out (week two), power washed our drives (week three) and our entire street (week four, while maintaining careful social distancing from baffled passers-by), we are now cleaning and polishing things we didn’t know could be cleaned and polished: house plant leaves to be exact. Next week, expect to see us polishing our power sockets and buffing our letterboxes.
Self-care has been a big theme of the lockdown but we’re not sure we’re interpreting it in the same way as celebrities and Instragrammers. Our self-care has largely involved banning anything without an elasticated waist and hiding from others in our household to: 1. ‘get some me time’ and 2. scoff all the chocolate we’ve banned the kids from eating.
Unfortunately, due to hairdressers closing, ‘self-care’ in lockdown also means cutting and dying our own hair, with mixed results. Terrible home dye jobs and fringe fiascos mean we have never missed and admired our hairdresser so much. For those of us unwilling to risk the lockdown buzzcut, some of the stories online have helped guide us on what not to do….
Who’s first in line with us when the hairdressers reopen?