I had a couple of in-person meetings yesterday – my first since lockdown began over 100 days ago – and, to put it mildly, it was strange.
For a start, I had to get dressed. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t spent lockdown in domestic naturist bliss. I’ve had a ton of video calls each day, so I’ve been getting dressed. It’s just taken the form of t-shirts and shorts. Yesterday, I slipped into a pair of jeans (they still fit!) and a jacket and it felt quite weird.
A little like when you have to put shoes on after spending a week barefoot on the beach. Which I really dislike.
I then had to find my wallet. It’s not something I’ve used at all since the start of lockdown. I didn’t really anticipate needing a credit card, but it would have felt odd not to have it with me. Something so automatic just three months ago was now something unusual. Special.
Heading across the Canary Wharf estate for my meetings, I made sure I was all masked-up and had a little bottle of hand sanitiser in my bag. Navigating building receptions and security was a chore. Staff couldn’t understand what I was saying due to my mask and their perspex screens and the one-way systems in place were confusing. But all part of our new normal and to be expected.
Long story short, both meetings (viewing potential new offices) were a complete waste of time, but a valuable test run for returning to my existing office – which will probably happen in a couple of weeks.
As for today, no I’m not going to a local pub. In fact, I can’t think of fewer places I’d like to be than a pub on the first day they’re open. People will inevitably be acting like idiots and it’ll be a breeding ground for disease. For me, lockdown has illustrated that you can enjoy a beer or two at home and completely avoid navigating crowds, noise and inevitably filthy pub toilets. Oh I’ll be returning to pubs for sure – not just in the first week they reopen.
Today will involve continuing to rip and shred (CDs and papers) as we redecorate our study at home. The weather is grim, so I’m quite happy to stay indoors and beaver away at domestic tasks.