diamond geezer

 Saturday, May 23, 2020

Today marks two months since the imposition of lockdown, during which time we've all been living under a series of ill-defined rules. So I made some rules of my own.
Go out...
no more than once a day
no more than 5 days a week
for less than 2 hours
no more than 2 miles from home
within a 1×2½ mile box
keeping as far from others as possible
without meeting friends or family
without stopping to sit down
avoiding all transport
and be home by noon
Some of these were the law, some were what I felt comfortable with and others I fell into as a matter of routine. At no point in the first eight weeks did I break any of them.

Then as lockdown supposedly eased, I realised I needn't/shouldn't/couldn't carry on. Some of these rules were no longer necessary, while others risked tying me into a set of limiting behaviours for no particularly good reason. So I started breaking them.

Here's where I stand today, with a red cross if I've finally broken that rule.
In brackets is the number of consecutive days I've kept it up.
no more than once a day (63 days)
no more than 5 days a week (56 days)
for less than 2 hours (59 days)
no more than 2 miles from home (68 days)
within a 1×2½ mile box (60 days)
keeping as far from others as possible (61 days)
without meeting friends or family (73 days)
without stopping to sit down (60 days)
avoiding all transport (68 days)
and be home by noon (60 days)
no more than once a day: This'll be the law requiring 'daily exercise'. I finally broke this rule yesterday when I went to Tesco to do 'essential shopping' and then went out for a walk.
no more than 5 days a week: This is me ignoring my right to daily exercise in favour of staying in a couple of days a week because it felt safer. I got a lot of spring cleaning done. But last week I upped 5 to 6, and this week I've been out the full 7.
for less than 2 hours: Two hours felt about right to start with, then became a self-imposed limit. I finally broke through the 2 hour barrier last week, delayed by writing copious notes, and haven't been timing myself since.
no more than 2 miles from home: I still haven't walked more than 2 miles from home since all this started. I've still managed loads of five mile walks though.
within a 1×2½ mile box: I stayed within my quarantine box for 60 days, then consciously snapped out of it by doing a full circuit of Victoria Park. My new 'box' is now 2 miles wide, but still 2½ miles deep.
keeping as far from others as possible: It's impossible to social distance perfectly, but every step of every walk since March has been made with human avoidance in mind.
without meeting friends or family: My last social meets with friends (73 days) or family (75 days) were both for birthday meals in early March. I have no idea how extroverts are coping with this.
without stopping to sit down: Pausing during daily exercise was specifically outlawed, you may remember, and I still haven't slumped on a lawn or a bench since lockdown started.
avoiding all transport: It's now 70 days since I was last on a bus, and almost as long since I was on a train. In the absence of a bike, my horizons are significantly diminished.
and be home by noon: Entirely my choice this one, but being out first thing in the morning has felt safer than being out in the busier afternoon. I haven't been out in the evening for 79 days, so have been missing a heck of a lot of sunsets.

I intend to break at least three more of these rules today, and then hopefully I won't feel trapped by not doing things any more. But don't expect to see me on board public transport any time soon.

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