Family on lockdown

How the Whittaker household is dealing with being on lockdown

Health, family, friends, love, laughter, common sense, contact, respect and of course BISCUITS… how the Whittaker household is dealing with being on lockdown.

After the dust settled and having plenty of time to reflect, think and eat (I’m not sure that 11 square meals a day is the right way to go for a healthy existence).  I felt it was the right time to write down about our Whittaker family experience during the COVID-19 crisis.  

We have two new members of the Whittaker household, well one new intro by way of my son’s girlfriend and my son who is part of the original Whittaker clan. It’s great to have everyone together, including my son’s girlfriend. She is my son and daughters favourite person after all. Most importantly it gives us the opportunity to give something back, and to look after her – whilst her mum and dad look after others, as they are both key workers. 

The settling-in arguments appear to be over (broadband and biscuits are the key to that success in our house, as well as, limiting Monopoly play) and we are now BAU-ish with lockdown. Strange for all of us – as the things we cherish and take for granted like freedom, meeting people, socialising have been taken away for now. For some of us, like my colleagues in India, even the ability to occasionally go outside for a walk is currently not possible. 

As the time progresses, although it all feels that time has moments when it suspends itself for a while (I swear I have done Monday a few times now) there are some bizarre emotions to deal with and experience. Watching the news last night, at what point did less people dying than the day before become a positive? Or that the deaths in the local area are less than the national average? Clearly one death in any circumstance is dreadful but this period in time is creating the wrong positives. Maybe hope is a better word than positive.  

Outside of my front door, there are people putting their lives at risk to help others in need but also for all of the families like mine. There are people who are just helping themselves and then those of us who are listening, taking note of advice and protecting the people dear to them, as well as, helping in a way by doing what the experts have advised.  

Whilst the news is negative there is no need for the usual media over sensationalism, it’s pure fact which makes it worse, and the level of negative content is so high. The positives we seem to experience in our temporary lives are at the other end of the spectrum; getting a new food delivery slot; the food I ordered turning up; a Monopoly win. Don’t get me wrong there are lots of things to be thankful for and health is right at the top of the list, but the difference between the two feels much further apart than normal. 

We are fortunate that our business is well prepared (that didn’t happen overnight) and we have very capable people here at SSP to make that happen. As I talk to previous colleagues in other businesses, who are not as well prepared, it’s clear that the way we operate has just moved to a different location for the time being. Don’t get me wrong, we have still got to run the business but there are many people and organisations who are not in that same place. So, a more important positive than the biscuit supply.  

It’s hard to believe that such a short time has elapsed since the first case and only weeks since we found ourselves in a lockdown of different levels. Stuff that is still important hasn’t changed; health; family and friends; love; laughter; common sense; contact; respect and of course biscuits.  

Stay safe everyone.

Stuart Whittaker, Head of Commercial and Facilities