What have you lost during lockdowns 1, 2 and 3? Apart from such things as evenings with friends or outings to the pub, I mean. You’ve gained the ability to bake sourdough bread but, if you’re like a lot of people, other skills may have gone AWOL.
Take driving. Now that freedom of movement is returning, many find themselves flustered behind the wheel. In a snap poll conducted by CarWow, three-fifths of Brits surveyed felt anxious about post-lockdown driving.
Motorway driving seems the most challenging, along with parking especially if, like a lot of people, you never quite got the hang of it in the first place. With my living-room window giving directly onto the street, the evidence is right in front of me.
You think driving should be like proverbial bike-riding? Maybe it is. But let me tell you that, when I tried to cycle after some decades, I’d lost all sense of balance and toppled over for no reason on a perfectly smooth road.
Why does that happen? It’s that old use-it-or-lose-it. No wonder going back to normal can feel like an alien world.
Even using your own feet can seem a trial. Neither my friends nor I can tolerate heels any more. It’s as if our feet have someone got wider after slopping around in slippers for months. Who knew?
Waistlines have inexplicably spread out too. I blame jogging bottoms, especially since the only jogging I’ve done is to the kitchen.
To combat post-lockdown sluggishness and avoirdupois, David Lloyd Clubs are running a six-week programme with volunteers working towards their health goals with personal trainers, nutritionists and psychologists. It’s called Team PB. PB for Pot Belly, perhaps?
As for libido, that too seems to have gone south for many. It’s difficult to prioritise intimacy when you’re stressed and the future looks uncertain. Watching the box is far simpler.
Here’s another reason why brain function may have suffered. Research from Johns Hopkins shows that, for those between 30 and 50, every extra hour of TV time daily translates into a 0.5% reduction in the volume of grey matter in the brain – in other words, the volume of nerve cells.
The road back to normal may prove long and winding, and I won’t be making the journey in high heels, but there’s a lot to look forward to. I might even want to travel again. Now where the heck is my passport? Bet it’s expired.
What do you think will prove hardest for you in the weeks and months to come? I’d love to hear.