What year 2020 has been. We’ve been locked down. Then released then locked down then…..reduced to tiers. Christmas day we have a ‘relaxaton’ for 24 hours, down from the orginal five days. With every chance of another lockdown in January.
Like many others our Christmas plans were thrown into turmoil. Dissapointing didn’t even cover it. Just to make sure Covid-19 appears to end the year with a mutated more transmissable variant.
Photography wise, even suffering lockdowns there was limited opportunity. Perhaps not travelling as far as we would normally, did we find a new respect for more local areas? You know, the stuff we passed every day without thinking about it. Is it now looked at differently? Not taken so much for granted?
We will take anything for granted in 2021?
Whatever rearranged Christmas plans you might have… heres to a merry Christmas and a better 2021…. Cheers
It seemed to be getting better…then as we all start to get out and try to reboot the economy …. it got worse.
Perhaps unsurprisingly we relaxed a little bit too much and gave the dreaded COVID-19 a chance to resurge. You only have to look in the local supermarket to see a lack of social distancing.
Now we can only meet in groups of six or less (with certain exceptions). The devolved governments in the UK have slightly different rules so you have to keep track.
Local lockdowns are looming in greater numbers and once again the tourism and hospitality trades are holding their breath.
A lot of people are being affected by the consequences of this pandemic. The normality of a year ago seems a distant memory.
Wherever you might be reading this please think about your actions and can I encourage you to keep a check on family, friends and neighbours, both physically and mentally.
GAS and Covid 19 make a dodgy combination. We are a few weeks into lockdown here in the UK with, at the time of writing, at least another three weeks before even thinking about lifting restrictions is on the table. (I’ve provided some images for visual breaks).
Now before I go any further here is A BIG SHOUT OUT to the NHS workers and all the other front line staff and key workers for all their efforts. We finally get to realise that we need dustmen, drivers and shop workers. The efforts of Doctors, nurses and other emergency services, care and council workers do not go unnoticed. They were there all along. We just didn’t think about it, didn’t need to maybe? Well we do now. Thank you to fellow care workers, our brilliant NHS and everyone else keeping us going through this pandemic.
Now back to GAS (Gear Aquisition Syndrome, in case you were wondering) during lockdown. With the benefit of technology we can continue to shop on the internet to satisfy our cravings for consumerism. It is a lot easier to think about buying gear you don’t need when you have found that elusive pack of nine toilet rolls. You can go easy now. In more ways than one.
So for those of us privileged enough not to have to worry about having supplies in the house it suddenly gets mundane. We get bored after binge watching our favourite TV series. What do photographers do next? We think about all the indoor challenges we can photograph. At the same time those niggling thoughts of whether we have the right gear start to creep in.
Do we need that new lens? Is 24mp really enough to capture the abstract of the dining room mirror? Is that tripod we hardly use really any good? Do we need a new carbon fibre one? The list goes on. It might be a coping mechanism though. Whatever you use Im not knocking it. We all need a way through this. Some might buy stuff, some might have a drink or two, some might write an article on a blog. Some might do all of the aforementioned. 😉
Is it bizzare that we actually look to increase our collection of gear when we know its not going to go outside for any meaningful use for at least three weeks? Yeah… I think it is to a certain extent. Although you could say there is a nice sense of anticipation.
In some respects we can, via online shopping, keep a little bit of our decimated economy going. I like to keep an eye on certain online stores and on the face of it they still seem to be doing not too bad. Unfortunately the bricks and mortar stores that were in trouble before the Covid lockdown hit are either struggling or really struggling. Some names have gone under Kath Kidson and Laura Ashley amongst them.
We have friends in the leisure and tourism sector. We hope they can weather out this storm. All the areas that rely on tourism are going to hope for an end to lockdown sooner rather than later. To all our friends in the care sector we trust you will also cope and come out stronger.
It is difficult to see how things will go back to how they were. Everbody in all walks of life are/will be affected to varying degrees. Tourism, retail and manufacturing are going to be feeling the consequences for a long time to come. They wont be the only ones. Hospitality and eating out could change in ways we can only imagine at the moment.
What about all that gear we bought when we couldn’t get out? We will keep it, sell it part exchange it? Guess we will find out.
Hopefully we will at least start on the post lockdown journey soon. We can escape the confines of our houses and take some photographs. Maybe just get some food from a take away, (pie and chips anyone?) enjoy it on a beach and contribute to local economies and local tourism.
When we do, lets not take it for granted, lets be grateful for what we have. Take in the beauty of these British Isles and realise that it is all a bit more fragile than we thought.