Profit and Loss:

A Year of Lockdowns

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To mark the first anniversary of the initial UK lockdown to contain the Covid-19 virus, members and supporters of the University of

Hertfordshire Oral History Team reflected on many ways in which their lives had changed across previous twelve months.

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Firstly, individuals listed key ingredients of everyday life they had been unable to carry out or enjoy in the twelve months just past.

However, the group members also revealed the positive things in their lives that had resulted from the Covid crisis —

new opportunities taken, comforts explored and embraced.

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Below can be found the first examples of these reflections. submitted in time for the anniversary —  sound recordings and written testimony.

The accompany pictures have been selected from the large archive of photo-diary material shot by team members

and supporters to chronicle an extraordinary year.

“A Year Like No Other”

The Covid Negatives and Positives

Among the written submissions is this, from Lindsay - demonstrating that downsides to the virus situation can have built-in upsides.

A) Things I HAVE NOT been able to do in lockdown (although I was able to do some of them between lockdowns, over the summer and during December):

1) Meet (and hug!) family and friends.
2) Go to live concerts etc.
3) Get my hair cut as often as usual – thus saving money.
4) Use the car as often as usual – thus saving money.
5)Travel abroad – thus reducing my carbon footprint.
6) Normal shopping – having to shop at odd times (in order to avoid the queues),wearing a mask and not being able to go to non-essential shops, including charity shops where I could deposit my de-cluttering!
7) Go to the tip – to dispose of other de-cluttered items (not good enough for the charity shops) and garden rubbish.
8) Scottish Country Dancing - even when other restrictions were lifted, because social distancing is impossible with dancing.
9) Go to the Pilates studio – BUT I have been able to do this on Zoom with my lovely instructor, who is a trained physio; and I was even able to do this when we were away from
home, on short breaks, in August and October.

B) Things I HAVE been able to do in lockdown:

1) Have more regular contact with younger members of the family (who live 2.5 hours drive away), thanks to modern technology.
2) Listened to/watched some wonderful live-streamed concerts in far-off places that wouldn't normally have been easily accessible.
3) Noticed interesting bits of architecture etc., on my local, daily walks that I've never seen before.
4) Sent more handwritten cards and letters. I felt that everyone had had quite enough time spent on the computer in 2020 so, for the first time in years, I sent handwritten Christmas cards rather than emails.
5) Sewing/mending. During the first lockdown I managed to complete all sorts of projects that had been lying around for ages.
6) More inventive cooking. I've been through the pile of recipes that I've cut out and saved over the years. Some have been thrown away, but my aim is to try several new
recipes each week, including soup (much better for the waistline than Banana Bread!) which I've been delivering to a couple of elderly widow friends.
7) Gardening. We're not very keen gardeners, but the garden really benefitted from the extra attention that we gave it in Spring 2020, so we aim to do the same again this Spring -
once the clocks have changed and it gets warmer!
8) Watching foreign films and TV series. I can't say that we're any more fluent in the French and German than we were before, but it's quite fun honing our language skills on the likes of “Call My Agent”.
9) Domestic de-cluttering.
10) Sing Christmas carols accompanied by a real organ - our “bubble buddy” has a tiny pipe organ in his drawing room, so we quaffed champagne on Christmas Eve whilst singing carols.
11) Stop taking things for granted, enjoy the things we can do and look forward to all the things that we WILL be able to do again!

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