The Whittaker family
Photographed 24th April 2020 - 33 days into lockdown 

There was a lot of anxiety and worry at the start of March regarding COVID-19 about what the ‘right thing’ to do was. There was a lot of ‘Oh no, my child has touched everything in the garden centre?‘, ‘Should we even be in the garden centre?’, ‘Wash your hands now!’. It didn’t help that we all had bad head colds, so although luckily not Coronavirus, it felt like every eye was on us if we coughed or sneezed out and about. It almost came as a relief when we had the clarity of lockdown.

Living in a beautiful place like Heydon, has meant lockdown has actually become a blessed experience, one which as a family I truly think we will never forget. We’ve really appreciated the house and the village, the view from our house in itself has enriched our soul each morning. I was worried we would all get bored, and we would struggle to find things to do, but actually the days and weeks are happily rushing by. It feels lovely not to be rushing around with the school run, nursery and various after school clubs, I think it’s something that we will look at when lockdown is lifted, to try and readdress the balance between always on the go and quality family time.

Both myself and Luke are able to work from home. We own an independent game studio, and work remotely with our staff. I’ve taken a backseat regarding work and focused on the children during lockdown, but without Luke commuting in London we are having lots of valuable quality time as a family. Long sunny days are filled with more laughter than I ever thought would be possible at this time. The boys, although missing their friends, have enjoyed each other’s company,  playing spies, drawing, dressing up as bodyguards, playing in the paddling pool or playing their beloved football. We have also discovered new bike rides and walks that we have really appreciated as a family.

Of course, the bigger picture is never far from our minds. We have a close friend whose family member is in hospital with the virus and it really brings home the grim reality of COVID-19.  Also, we’re missing our families. Zoom calls just aren’t the same as hugs, and I’ll never take for granted a big hug from my mum and dad again. That goes for friends too! It will be hugs all round as soon as it’s allowed!

Written 7th of May 2020

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