Daily Express

I’ve loved the time out, but we must use common sense and get back to real life


DID Boris announce in his address to the nation on Sunday that lockdown was over – and I missed it? Because even BEFORE his speech, people were behaving like they’d read his mind and were going about their lives as normal.

Yes, the majority of shops, bars and restaurant­s are still closed. But there’s traffic everywhere, cyclists everywhere, and now there will be hordes of people sunbathing and gathering in parks and outside spaces – probably not all at a safe distance.

But as Boris made clear, there’s a lot of lockdown to go yet before he can ease Britain back to normality.Yes, we can now go for exercise as often as we like and it’s great news that the garden centres and the dumps are reopening. I was gutted he dropped the “hub of 10” idea which would have meant us being able to meet up with a few friends and family.All we got was “limited contact” with people – whatever that means.

But after Boris’s speech, I was trying to work out what I felt about him keeping the handbrake on. First, I don’t think there’s much else he could have done.Too quick a return to normality could mean a spike in infections and he would have been left carrying the can for what would have been seen as unnecessar­y deaths.

Second, I don’t honestly know how I feel about a full return to normal life. I know it has to happen soon and that the country has to start working again or it will be plunged into bankruptcy. But still, there’s a kernel of fear inside me that says I could still get the virus because it hasn’t actually gone away. There were hundreds of new cases last week and hundreds more died.

So, yes, there’s a big part of me that says it’s time to plunge back into life; that we’re all going to have to find a way to live with Covid.And, yes, I’m desperate to drink Prosecco in the garden with my friends and to go browse in my local garden centre.

But there’s another part of me that says “WHOA… just throttle back a minute.You’re in your 60s, you’ve got a hay fever-related touch of asthma and you’re fat”, and fat people are 37 per cent more likely to die with coronaviru­s than thin people.

But there’s also part of me that doesn’t want to throw myself back into the fray.And it’s not all to do with fear about catching the virus.There’s part of me that’s grown used to my own company, the quiet, the limitation­s. I’ve actually loved taking time out of real life. The Husband and I haven’t spent so much time together in years and although we’ve had some cataclysmi­c rows and I’ve actually screamed the words: “as soon as this is over, I’m divorcing you”, we have grown closer.

In normal life he travels a lot and I work a lot and we’re not in the same room all that often, except at weekends. So during lockdown (and in between the rows ) we’ve grown to enjoy each other’s company again. I’ve also loved the feeling that there’s no pressure on me to be anywhere (well, except on the patio by 6pm for drinks) and I’m actually a bit scared of what it’s going to be like when that changes.

I’ve loved the evenings where Himself and I just kick back with the Pringles and the popcorn and trawl Netflix.

But my sensible head knows that must end. Normal life must be resumed and the key to that is taking personal responsibi­lity.We know this is a virus that barely affects the under 40s but can be fatal for those over 50. The Government can’t police everyone so people have to police themselves and assess the risks – to themselves and to others.

And THAT’S what will get this country up and running again. Not rules, not regulation­s but considerat­ion and the good old common sense of the British people.

IT IS so important when staying at home to keep moving – for the benefit of your physical and mental health.

So the Daily Express has teamed up with award-winning fitness coach Julie Bartlett to bring you some beneficial exercises.

If you have been following Julie’s routines, you will have noticed that you have been working on your strength and your aerobic fitness. Now

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