High-risk and under 70 (way under) – life in lockdown.

Bar a few early morning runs and cycles, I’ve only gone beyond the end of our driveway twice in the last 8 weeks (and they were both in the car).

I’m not complaining, I just thought people might wonder what life’s like at the moment for a ‘high-risk’ person that isn’t over 70. Is it any different? Maybe.

Firstly I should note for the record that I’m used to being in isolation – I spent 3 weeks isolated back in 2014 when I had a bone marrow transplant. And that’s the reason I’m now classed as high-risk.

So what’s it like? Is it any different to how you’ve all being living?

Running my own business and working from home means that daytime in the week isn’t that different for me. I’m just not going out for client meetings, or dropping the kids off at school. Just like the rest of you.

But where life does get a bit different is on the home life side, because it’s not just me that can’t go out, it’s my wife, daughter and son that need to take extra care if they pop out to take our dog for a walk.

We took the decision at the start of all this that instead of me spending 2,3,4 or more months self-isolating on my own in one room in the house, none of us would leave the house to do anything like shopping or exercising where there are other people.

At the start, this was really hard for my daughter. Being 13, she at least wanted to be able to be out among other people and maybe even see her friends at a distance. But she’s done really well and understands why she can’t do that.

Getting our groceries is a new process. Although supermarkets have been working to try and prioritise delivery and click and collect slots for high risk customers, it took 7 weeks before we could get a slot. This meant we needed to rely on friends to go and do our shopping, so far more planning in advance.

I guess the big thing for me is on the mental health side. Although I know I’m doing fine, there are those moments when not being out further than my driveway feels very odd. Even with the new relaxed restrictions, I’ll be staying at home.

The real positive though is that I’ve finally got into the habit of doing a decent amount of exercise each day, in the gardenand the kids are joining in. I’m fitter than I’ve been for a few years and I’ve developed a new morning routine, which is keeping me energised all through the day.

So I guess there’s not much different to the lives you’re all living at the moment – just a few more restrictions and a bit more “I wonder when it will be ok for me to get out and about” kind of thinking (I’m really missing my weekly squash session and my Monday night dads football).

Keep safe everyone and please remember how good community spirit has been for so many of us over recent weeks.

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Robin Lane, Clevedon, BS21 7ET, UK