A Grantham Journal reporter's Covid Christmas
Being forced to isolate or finding out you have Covid is bad news at the best of times, but it is particularly brutal to be largely confined to one room over Christmas with the disease.
I am sure plenty of others have had similar experiences this year. Many of my friends are positive, but fortunately have not been plagued by the symptoms.
Luckily, I also presented with no symptoms, nor did my mum, and I am in a line of work that could be done from home, with the prospect of freedom now in touching distance thanks to the new isolation rules.
However, with my dad and sister remaining negative last week, it did set up a rather strange dynamic in my house over Christmas.
Anyone who has had Covid, while other members of their household were negative, knows the struggle. The Whatsapp messages asking for drinks to be brought up, dinners on a tray and feverishly sanitising your hands before and after visiting other areas of the house, mainly the loo.
As someone who is perfectly happy without the company of people, isolation was something that I was content with, provided I had a TV with Netflix and a laptop with Football Manager on it, but ultimately there is something painfully un-festive about spending Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day barely interacting with others.
Zoom calls were fine during the first lockdown, but having been back to normal for quite some time, it once again felt awkward and hollow, speaking to family members that you really should be with, enjoying Christmas and all of the festivities that come with that.
We were still able to exchange presents as a family in the same room, albeit wearing masks and sitting as far apart as possible, and we did sit together at opposite ends of the table for Christmas Dinner, with my sister stepping up to make it for the first time. Kudos to her and a nice break for my mum. We even pulled a cracker in our respective bubbles.
It was particularly hard not to see my partner to give her her presents, but that is something that could easily be done at a later date.
I am also a sufferer of FOMO (the fear of missing out), so to see people on social media going about their Christmases as normal, with trips to the pub and to watch the football, was quite surreal. At least New Year's Eve remains safe from restrictions (for now).
After the heavy restrictions imposed during the festive period last year, it would have been nice to have more of a normal Christmas, but there is always next time. There were certainly people out there who had worse Christmasses.
For instance, those in hospital or working on the front line, those living alone, or those without a home.
Hopefully, the latter group were given as good a Christmas as possible, thanks to the ever brilliant work from charities such as the Grantham Passage.