Week one of the Lockdown in the UK has been one of the strangest of 7-days of my life. Physical distancing is a lot harder than I imagined, especially when it’s not out of choice. First world problems, I know… But it is unusual to fight our human nature which is to be ‘social’ and interact with other human beings. I seem to be experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms and fearing how I will cope with living alone – and not having any hugs. Man, I need my hugs… My extrovert self is wondering how and where I will get my energy I need to stay lively and positive. Can anyone else relate?
The UK Lockdown – Covid19
The broadcast that was made on Monday 23 March 2020 by our Prime Minister will haunt me forever. Him saying that all UK residents must stay home to protect lives, and that the police have the power to fine people that do not adhere to the guidelines. Knowing that I can only go outside for:
- Shopping for basic necessities
- One form of exercise a day – either alone or with members of your household
- Medical need or to provide care or help to a vulnerable person
- Travel to work – but only if necessary and you cannot work from home
Just felt surreal. Like I was watching a movie… But also I was wondering why the hell has it taken the UK to put draconian measures into place to stop the virus? What will be the real cost to lives? Seeing how Covid-19 has impacted other countries like Italy and France has kept me suitably worried for everyone I know, who is at risk, or has friends and families at risk – and of course, anyone who works for the NHS.
For some reason, here in the UK, we were led to believe that ‘herd mentality’ was the way to go. I think this decision will weigh heavily on Boris Johnson for many years to come…
Is Covid-19 a Force majeure?
I mean this situation, COVID-19 cannot be classified as anything other than a Force majeure surely? My head has been spinning thinking about what will be legal, what will be expected of businesses, what will be expected of the government…
According to the law firm Farrer, “Contrary to common perception, there is no statutory or common law definition of force majeure or a force majeure event in English Law” – so this means we really do have to wait and see how things pan out.
I think this will be a true test of moral responsibility. I am hoping with a cup half full that there will be a dramatic turn of events in terms of support for the British people. So far my faith in Boris is nil.
UK Lockdown & My Business
The UK Lockdown announcement, although I knew it was coming hasn’t helped ease the anxiety around knowing if friends and family will be safe, or if my business will survive or not. Will I be able to meet my obligations to keep my team on part-time and/or even pay myself a salary? I’m not going to lie, this is, of course, something I am very worried about. Not many people will be ‘needing’ personal styling right now, nor will many people be shopping from ethical brands, and most ethical brands will be struggling to survive, so Ethical Brand Directory membership just doesn’t feel appropriate to push either.
Life before the UK Lockdown
I had an extraordinarily busy week before the UK lockdown was announced, full of productive business workshops, networking, seeing friends and enjoying London. I think that has made the first week feel more surreal and even more difficult. But at the same time, I have a newfound appreciation for the little things… like eating out in a restaurant
Last week was full of cancelling clients and calling to see if I was eligible for a refund for any trips and days out that had already been paid for. Whilst I am going to try to support small businesses where I can, I also need to recoup any losses where I can too. It’s a bit of a balancing act and it’s striking conflict within me. But I need to also look after myself too. That’s what I keep telling myself, I can’t give from an empty cup…
Covid-19 Business Decisions
I am glad that myself and my business partner Dan, made the decision to pull out of events that would put our team Ethical Brand Directory team at risk. To have gone ahead with the events would have been unethical in my opinion, as we would have taken brands money, which would have resulted in very little value to any brands taking part in our pop-ups.
I feel confident I’ve made the right decisions to take care of my team RSL team and the EBD family on my own accord, rather than only making these decisions because the government enforced it. Thankfully I have been able to find a way to keep my team working, even though it’s on minimal part-time hours – something is better than nothing.
I’ll be back next week, with week 2 of my lockdown diary. Hopefully I will keep this up for every week! 🙂
Stay safe, be kind to yourself and others.
Catch up with all the Lockdown Diary Blogs
You can read the Week 2’s entry here.