Tony Edwards

500 days of lockdown

- 2 mins

Both on this blog and in talks I’ve given, I’ve made reference to the “500 days of lockdown”. To give me something to link to when it’s mentioned, here’s what’s meant by that term.

Very early on in the pandemic, it became clear that the UK would go into lockdown at some point for an unknown period. Looking into past pandemics of a similar nature, it seemed obvious that it wouldn’t be over and done within a couple of months. I made the prediction that it’d be at least a year and a half before things settle back down. Not necessarily in a state of isolation, but with society remaining in a restrictive and fearful state.

I reflected on a decade plus of working long hours as part of long and often physical weeks, which at times required plenty of travel. Remembering the failed promise I made to myself during uni to take some time off afterwards, it seemed like the opportune moment. The combination of furlough monies and not being able to travel combined to create the perfect reason for the time off. Knowing that I could work remotely when needed, I decided there and then to lockdown for 500 days and let this play out without me.

Over that time, I spent plenty of time doing projects around the home and garden. Building a handful of veg beds, repairing walls, laying patios, and most importantly reconnecting with my partner after a hectic few years.

Don’t get me wrong, I did a fair whack of work. . . within the rules of furlough of course. We ran one of the first conferences in the western world to pivot online, hosted events for others, launched a couple apps, built (and closed) a successful agency as well as stepping back from a career path I’d been strolling along for half a decade. To complement that, I had great swathes of time without having any kind of work in my life.

After more than 20 years of life on line, I disconnected from the web. No social media. No email. No YouTube. No messaging apps. It was bliss. For a shorter stretch, cutting anything more technologically advanced than a kettle and lightbulb out of my life with the exception of our smart speaker system. As an example, I didn’t use the cooker for a while because it has a digital clock.

To highlight how cut off I was, the second lockdown almost passed without realising it was happening!

Please don’t get the impression that I didn’t leave the house, see my family or communicate with the people I love. I sure did, just not in the same way as the before times. . . which I guess is true for everyone to some extent.

I’ll likely dive into some of this in future posts and related content. For now, at least you know what I mean by “500 days of lockdown”.

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