COVID changes to your life?

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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,902
818
Lancashire
I'm curious about how COVID is permanently changing society and people's lives. It's possible we get on top of COVID and can return to normal life but will we? Do we want to?

My curiosity started because the first lockdown made us take action that we'd talked about for over 3 years. We'd talked about moving to get a garden and garage for years but never really taken the plunge. First lockdown came and as handy as where we live is problems came up due to where we live. Issues with a school head with a serving his time to retirement,obstructionist attitude to no garden or safe outdoor space of our own.

We put our house up for sale and are moving 12 minutes down the train line to a more rural village with a very good primary school. The head teacher was proactive about COVID issues too. It has a decent sized garden with plenty of trees and places to sit/hide away. There's plenty of amazing places to walk straight from the front or back door. Very good for pandemic lockdowns. We're also in Cumbria which is like where we live in terms of risks but it's not Lancashire for tier purposes.

Basically we're doing what many are doing, moving from town to country to give us a better life in COVID times. A change in lifestyle in some ways that will stick with us.

What changes have been triggered in your life that is going to last beyond this pandemic?
 

fenix

Forager
Jul 8, 2008
109
66
Kent
My wife will probably stay working from home, she works for a local authority as a planning officer. We are lucky that we have a dedicated office at home for her to work from, and she has a good works laptop / remote working setup, our broadband is also very fast. Probably going to look at our car situation, we currently have 2 small cars, but might get something a bit bigger and keep one of the smaller ones. For me its had little effect, I make stuff so cant work from home. We are already in a village, no kids so not worried about school, etc. Work is very busy, we are involved in medical gas and gas analysis. We have seen a lot of people moving to the village and nearby town from London, this includes and entire businesses.
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,902
818
Lancashire
I'm in manufacturing too so have to be at work. My partner is an academic researcher so can work from home. Current broadband isn't great or reliable. So she struggles to access and save work on the university servers through the secure online connection. Mostly she doesn't but uses an external hard drive at home.

Where we're moving to I'm hoping it's got better broadband. AIUI they've benefited from n government money to my get super fast broadband to rural communities. We're in a town but only 4 houses can get fibre connections because they don't want to put more in. Unbelievable!

Anyway the village we're moving to might be getting B4rn fibre optic broadband. It's an innovative not for profit company set up to supply broadband to rural notspots in the lune valley but have spread out since. We're talking 1000 mb/s IIRC when most BT supplied is lucky to get 17!! Plus download and upload is at the same speed. It's not fibre to cabinet then copper to house but the best fibre right into each house getting it installed.

If we get that it'll be great. No drop off, no limiting at popular times. Streaming stuff live will never buffer due to download issues. But I still won't be allowed to work from home!! I could at least some of the time though.

At the moment I commute by car, we're getting rid of that and only keeping the camper. By using bike and train to commute I'll save on fuel and it'll hopefully be better for the planet, my bit being done. The house already has solar power. We'll be looking at grants and help to apply other improvements too. But the main thing is school, location and garden for COVID reasons.
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,902
818
Lancashire
I think I'll look for something in the university? I'm considering a PhD then trying to get into academic research. More scope to work from home perhaps.
 

Scots_Charles_River

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Dec 12, 2006
3,239
13
paddling a loch
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Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
11,212
665
48
Wiltshire
I have had to move in with my father to keep him (both of us really) company.

I have lived on my own since I was 18 and am very territorial. (You know us Tengu...)

Surprisingly, we get on very well.

I'm currently looking for work and also doing a bit of writing, -getting known in Heritage

But research is hard with no libraries/archives/museums open.
 

Woody girl

Full Member
Mar 31, 2018
3,007
2,123
62
Exmoor
I'm fine and lucky in many ways and the only real change for me has been social.
My "bubble" burst very early on, when those I considered friend showed that they were not.
That was hard to accept, but I'm over it now.
Most of my other local friends are severely locked down themselves, so socializing is out of the question, but at least they have partners and family living at home.
So loneliness is my major problem, living as I do alone.
I dont realy know how to get round that as though i have phone contact, and the forums to keep in touch with others, and have some form of conversation, its sadly not quite the same.
I can't see much changing for some while yet. I'm in the sixth tier for a vaccine, and we are still working our way through the first one.
I was told feb/march, for mine, but we still have no vaccine centre nearer than 20 miles away, ....and with no car.........
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,367
3,557
Mid Wales
On a day to day basis very little has changed. We live in the hills and our nearest shop is three miles away, nearest town five miles, nearest Marks and Spencer 25 miles. We've not gone to a large town or city since March '20 and, although I don't miss the shopping, I miss breakfast at Carluccio (sadly no more in Shrewsbury), or an early evening meal at a bistro restaurant. What worries me is, even after vaccination, will I still want to sit in a crowded Costa or shuffle cheek to jowl in the market? I suspect not.

We've started using supermarket delivery - something we've never done before. However, it's less expensive than us travelling to a supermarket and very convenient. I suspect it has a better carbon footprint as well. I am pretty sure we'll carry on doing that for the bulk stuff and continue to use local shops for meat and veg.

We've started digging the veg patch again (it had been left fallow for years) and, I think, we'll keep that going.

I don't think we're going to relax our rural planning regulations too much so there won't be a huge change in the number of people living in the country but the price for rural property will go up once again putting unreasonable pressure on local young people to move away (as in the second home problem). People with professional jobs in towns and cities will be able to out-bid locals in house buying (again) and will affect the culture in villages and small towns. So, I'm hoping the appeal is to only a minority because there is no doubt that rural living does not suit everyone.
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,902
818
Lancashire
Our new house is pretty much the same as what it be sold for over 15 years ago. It dipped by 35-40% in the middle of that period. However other houses have gone up 5% since January last year. One house was on the market in January, sold in march STC, nearly fell through got going again then in November came back on the market because the sale feel through but it went up in price 5%. Other houses in the same street went on the market and sold in less than a week in some cases. Smaller houses costing more.

One couple put their house on the market for a very high price hoping to cash in. No real interest so they took it off the market. You could tell they were trying it on. They'd bought it 18 months before and made only the changes that suited them and nobody else, indeed probably took value off the house with some changes. However they put £90k on what they bought it for. Obviously read that the housing market was taking off and thought to cash in. Glad it never sold. At the same time we couldn't find, view and put an offer on a suitable house before it sold.

We stuck with it and found our house. Big enough, big garden, near the station and village centre but still on the edge of the village. For less money too. Very lucky indeed. Certainly feel lucky. It means we'll be in a better situation for COVID issues I think. It's a change that might never have happened without COVID and issues with the county council, schools, etc. Since we started buying this house the county wide tier system also gave us issues. Our childcare support bubble is in Cumbria not Lancashire where we live. At the time a different tier. Now we're all in Cumbria, or will be after the move. I've lived in Lancashire for 45 years with a few uni breaks in Yorkshire and Merseyside. It's a big change leaving Lancashire for me. I'm going to be a Lancastrian abroad!!!
 

gra_farmer

Settler
Mar 29, 2016
602
343
Kent
My lovely wife and I have been camping out in a building on the family farm for the last 10 years, without owning it, or it considered a home by the council. We had things in motion to own it, and have been gathering evidence of living in it, and thanks to covid, in a way, the planning law has gone in our favour and for the first time in my life...we have a home and hope for our 2 very young children to have something of worth to be left to them.

Working wise, I am a key, key worker, and to a point if I have to get somewhere to sort out an issue, and traffic restrictions stop or delay me, I get a blue light escort to where I need to go. Apart from that working from home was never an option until now, so do a mix.

Personal life wise, we know, no difference....friends and family are rubbish, and have never had support really from either side of the family, and to some point more likely open aggression is what has been on offer from family.
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
22,040
1,570
63
Pembrokeshire
The only changes for me are that I have got fitter - more time for walking and exercising - and I have lost a tooth as the dentist was not allowed to drill and fill a bad cavity so it all went rotten on me and had to go!
Oh - and I am a lot poorer as I have had next to no work and do not qualify for any govt. handouts but have had to live off my savings ... which were never large!
 
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gra_farmer

Settler
Mar 29, 2016
602
343
Kent
I'm fine and lucky in many ways and the only real change for me has been social.
My "bubble" burst very early on, when those I considered friend showed that they were not.
That was hard to accept, but I'm over it now.
Most of my other local friends are severely locked down themselves, so socializing is out of the question, but at least they have partners and family living at home.
So loneliness is my major problem, living as I do alone.
I dont realy know how to get round that as though i have phone contact, and the forums to keep in touch with others, and have some form of conversation, its sadly not quite the same.
I can't see much changing for some while yet. I'm in the sixth tier for a vaccine, and we are still working our way through the first one.
I was told feb/march, for mine, but we still have no vaccine centre nearer than 20 miles away, ....and with no car.........
I know what it is like to be isolated from physical attention, I have been isolated, lost and alone in a hostile country, in the past. Fourms like this are beneficial and a shame that more people in similar situations are not aware of these special places.

When a sense of normal returns, even though what normal is, is the biggest question. I plan to visit a few people, some of which are fourm friends.
 
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stevec

Full Member
Oct 30, 2003
447
77
Sheffield
Strange times. First (proper) lockdown I was sent home, eventually on furlough. Got a bit stressed about it all. Now, with the uni not having students in and having to home school I'm back at home. Hard to do teaching lab tech stuff from home. Misses is still going in as a researcher. Will have to see if I get furloughed this time, thankfully work will pay wages in any case, for which I am very grateful. I make sure to donate cash to a local food Bank. Get click and collect more now to avoid show as much as possible
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,902
818
Lancashire
My partner's a researcher and she's had one day in university since march. Even then she had to get that signed off by the university bureaucracy via head of department and security I believe.

I got sent home in march which became furlough. I got called into work unpaid one day then they changed the rules to allow flexible furlough. I got called in one day then two weeks of two days which then became one full week end of July/beginning of August. That's the start of my return to work full time. One positive is that I took very few holidays in 2020 which means if this pandemic starts to become manageable before summer I'll have 12 more days holiday to take this year. More family time. The lockdown meant slowing down and being with my immediate family of partner and young son. That change I like to keep going forward as much as possible.

One example of that is how pre pandemic every weekend I was obsessed about just getting out of the house as much as possible. Lockdown meant we slowed down and stayed local. We explored the paths around our house. We read together. It was a strange time but we found positives too.

After lockdown eased we immediately wanted to head an hour up the road and walk or favourite Lakeland fells. However, we kind of stopped doing that and kept local just slightly further away than during main lockdown. We have changed I guess.
 

Woody girl

Full Member
Mar 31, 2018
3,007
2,123
62
Exmoor
I know what it is like to be isolated from physical attention, I have been isolated, lost and alone in a hostile country, in the past. Fourms like this are beneficial and a shame that more people in similar situations are not aware of these special places.

When a sense of normal returns, even though what normal is, is the biggest question. I plan to visit a few people, some of which are fourm friends.
Very true.
I feel so tempted to just pack a bag and get out of town, running away from things I guess, I know it wont help and would make things worse at the moment.(to say nothing of being illegal!)
Nothing to do, but hunker down, try very hard to keep cheerful, until I can do what I want to do again.
I'm not always able to be cheerful, but I stay relatively even, with just the odd wobble now and then which is only natural. So I dont beat myself up about it.
Life will return at some point, like it did after the spanish flu epidemic.
Life will be different in many ways and we will hopefully have learned something about ourselves and others. Lessons learned and maybe a better world, or lessons ignored and .... well, who knows what's to come.? Just try to take a positive mental attitude, and hope and pray for the best.
Everyone is different so for some, this lockdown is a blessing, for others a nightmare.
I'm relatively lucky( so far )as to income and other comforts, so realy I am grateful, as so many others are realy on a knife edge. I can't begin to imagine how that feels. So I realy mustn't moan too much about my lack of company, painful though it is to me, in relation to others worries it's very small.
At least I have you lovely lot! Xxxxxx
 
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Woody girl

Full Member
Mar 31, 2018
3,007
2,123
62
Exmoor
Well, I've been pfizered at last. Second jab due in 12 weeks,.... well 11 now. I got it sooner than I anticipated, so that is good.
Still taking all precautions, and staying isolated, but realy looking forward to a wee bit more freedom soon, and being able to socialize a bit, albeit at a distance, masked and gelled! It's been such a worry, and I've had some worrying health issues this year too, requiring hospitalization during lockdown, which was very scary! Also managed to break my foot during the summer!so was unable to make the most of unlock down.
It's been a trying year, but spring is comming,I've had a jab, and lockdown is comming to an end soon.
I'm feeling positive again at last.
 

punkrockcaveman

Full Member
Jan 28, 2017
708
524
yorks
The pandemic has given me time to hone those subtle skills that I thought I didn't have time for, because I had freedom to do those 'grand' adventures, and was always prepping for the next one. I feel like I've really starting to grasp things like foraging, but it's not just outdoor skills. I've learned a lot about myself, my mental well being and other people's too.
 

Corso

Full Member
Aug 13, 2007
5,042
368
none
Well hospital life has seen more change in the last year than the 25 I've worked in before it.

I hope one day I can scale down on the damn PPE, meet my peers in person rather than rely on Teams and be allowed to have lunch with collegues I've known for decades rather than need to find an office or corner where I can be allowed to take my mask off for 15 minutes

But most of all I hope I can be in a pub with my mates looking back at a once in a generation event thats never to be repeated...
 

Robbi

Full Member
Mar 1, 2009
9,368
450
northern ireland
"But most of all I hope I can be in a pub with my mates looking back at a once in a generation event thats never to be repeated..."

oh man, don't we all hope that !!
 

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