Wonder what life in the lockdown looks like for other people? We share snapshots of Melan readers’ experiences during the quarantine.

It’s week three of the COVID-19 lockdown and with schools shut and everyone except keyworkers leaving their homes to go to work, life is looking very different for all of us. It’s natural to be curious about others and how they are coping with the situation.

We spoke to 17 Melan readers who have us a brief insight into their state of mind, and how they are dealing with life in quarantine.

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Pearl, 35, eyelash technician

I’m married and a beautician, so I usually work from home. Lockdown has had an immediate impact on me and my husband, who is a photographer. We both relish the fact that we are entrepreneurs and good at what we do, and in usual circumstances, we earn a pretty good living. The social distancing has meant a sharp drop in our earning and I’m really concerned.
Our options are limited as we are both self-employed, but a bit of savings have cushioned us for the time being. If by May, the situation remains the same we will have to consider a mortgage holiday, but I have faith in my clients returning and things looking brighter soon.

Jean, 44, office manager

I’m able to do my job from home, but with my six and nine-year old needing support with their schoolwork at the same time, it’s been difficult to get anything done properly.
I half expected to be baking and having a spotless house; it’s clean but a couple of weeks into lockdown later and the standard I set for myself has only happened on Sundays as my kids are so messy! Get me back to the office somebody!

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Antonia, 49, social worker

I am home with my tenants. My grown-up kids have moved out and I work for the council, so my wage is, thankfully, unaffected. I do what I can from my work laptop.
It’s been so nice being at home, having a workout during the day and lunch in the garden. I get along with both my tenants really well so for company I’m fine, but I just hope their private firms keep paying them so that they can keep on paying their rent.

Annalise, 42, homemaker

I am worried. I have underlying health issues and I received a letter from my GP saying I should stay at home for 12 weeks as I’m considered vulnerable to COVID-19.
I usually put my health situation to the back of my mind, so staying at home is giving me a bit too much time to think. I’m grateful that I can stay in touch with family and friends through FaceTime. My daughter is back from Uni and so she helps getting the shopping in which is a Godsend.

Yasmin, 39, medical secretary

My flat is lovely but on the small side as we have no back garden or balcony. Space is the issue as my girls are six, seven and I have a nine-month-old, we were hoping to start the process of renting a bigger place but that’s all on pause for now. We are struggling in terms of being confined in such a small space, but it’s been great being together. Although home schooling has been extremely stressful.

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Michelle, 47, interior designer

I have always seen work as my sanctuary. But being confined to our home and juggling teaching my 10-year old son has been an eye opener. He is very bright, and I feel like I have been able to teach him things I had not got around to and that makes me feel like I’m being the mum I wanted to be.
He’s learnt cooking and cleaning his room as well as improved his reading, this is one happy mum right now, my boy really needed my time. I’m grateful that his father has been helping out more financially too because at the minute my career is in up in the air.

Jennifer, 45, supermarket manager

I’m fine but I’m isolating away from my mum as I’m a senior supermarket Manager. I’m having a lot of contact with the public and I can’t risk passing on anything to my mum as she is 70. I drop her shopping off at her door but she’s a bit frail and I am regretting not moving her to my house, but my children are young and all the chatter about kids being super spreaders and my own job made me make that choice. I hope I have done the right thing. I miss her.

Dawn, 36

I’m in a new relationship of just five months. I bravely asked my boyfriend if he wanted to move in the evening Boris made the announcement, I don’t know what came over me! We agreed to the three weeks as we can both work from home and he didn’t want to be alone either when we could do this together.
Three weeks in and it’s been an experience. We’ve had no break from each other and had a couple of squabbles as I’m used to doing things a certain way. I’ve loved seeing him every day, but the cooking and getting used to him seeing me so fresh faced first thing in the morning made me so shy at first, but we’ve settled into an ok routine.

Andrea, 41, personal trainer

I had been dreading the lockdown announcement as I thought of having to spend additional time together in the house with my husband was going to be awful as I had only just been tolerating him these past months as it is. Two weeks in and I’m remembering all the good things I love about him. He’s put in a huge effort into our home and our family for the first time in nearly a year. Marriage is hard work but at these times you recognise who is your foundation. I’m grateful for this time I would be lost without him.

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Jas, 38, dry cleaner

My partner and I have approached this situation like a long weekend. I enjoy taking care of him, cleaning, making his favourite food and having meaningful conversations and prayer. I feel there is more expectation in the bedroom now too but that’s been fun, really fun!
I feel a bit ‘Real housewife of Ealing’ because it’s not often we get so much quality time together, but I’m not complaining. I have a newfound appreciation of everything that we have as many aren’t as fortunate. All I will add is that I am so much more tired but ever so grateful.

Chimie, 35, pharmacy assistant

I live on my own and though I had offers to move in with my family members I require my space, and it wasn’t appropriate to be around others due to the risk of me spreading the virus.
I miss not seeing my friends and family, but this has given me the time to put more effort into my self-care, fitness and reading.
I’m also grateful for this time to be able to help my community through my work and still be able to do my thing when I get home. At first, I felt a little sad that I’m not in a relationship and thought I’d get lonely, but so far so good. I’m feeling fine and I get to talk to everybody more then I usually would.

Afua, 47, project manager

We just have to get on with it. I have heard every conspiracy theory going, from chemical warfare to 5G causing the virus, true or not it’s draining me. I just want to concentrate on being peaceful. When this is over, we can dissect all we want, but right now what I need is less WhatsApp fake news being circulated. I find it unhelpful as many are going to struggle with being isolated and it can contribute to the decline of people’s mental health.

Angie, 39, play scheme manager

Please keep ‘us’ pregnant mamma’s in your thoughts. We are going through a lot, trying to be relaxed amongst the chaos.

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Caz, 44, nursery owner

I am just doing day by day in my home. Nothing different to what I usually do, although with extra prayer and bible study. Hats off to the people who are doing fitness workouts, thriving on home schooling and business building. I’m simply thankful to be doing fine health and money wise. I will not allow the pressure of proving how well I have tackled quarantine to take over me. This situation is difficult enough, and we should all focus on getting through this with no judgement.

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