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A Magazine for Sheffield

Walking in the Dark

Sheffield student Bella Gualano pens an ode to lockdown parts one and two - because like every franchise, clearly one isn’t enough.

free light ecclesall road
Shane Rounce

Early afternoon, sitting at my desk, I decide that I should venture out into the world – at the expense of my uni work, but also to half save my brain from cabin fever.

There are a few things that are different with this lockdown. Gone is the excitement and allure of working from bed. Yes, it was fun, but I’m not sure my lecturers needed to see my cat perching on my shoulder, convinced that in a previous life he was, in fact, a parrot.

Gone are the days when I would marvel at the queue outside Tesco, wondering how long I would have to wait to get my essential items: a Kinder Bueno, tequila and llama glasses (for margaritas).

Gone are the days when I would relish the chance to interact with other people over Zoom. Me and my group of wonderful adult friends would do a theme each week in an effort to fulfil our dreams of being:

  • a) Disney princesses
  • b) Mafia bosses
  • c) memes
  • or, the best, d) characters – correction, actual people – from Tiger King.

These days if you mention Zoom or an online quiz to me I feel a sense of dread building inside. I instantly come out in a cold sweat trying to remember how many gallons of beer are actually in a firkin. Answer: fuck knows.

Life is different, obviously. We have started to adapt to – don’t say it, don’t say it! – the “new normal”.

Now clearly, being British, the weather remains a strong conversation opener. Right now, we are in “look how dark it is outside” season, a welcome reminder that some things will never change. In this Lockdown 2: The Month Before Christmas Edition, the weather tends to make us feel a little more isolated than it did in Lockdown 1: Pilot Episode.

Right now though it’s even more significant. Being dark now it makes you think a little bit more. I find my brain focussing on the tiniest of sounds and I instantly become a true crime writer, analysing my walks to a Times bestseller extent. I’m also blaming this on lockdown being so tedious, and not the fact that there may actually be someone following me.

With tiers being announced and vaccine news added to the bombardment of daily Covid updates as I’m finishing this piece, there seems to be a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel of a year, when every day has been Friday 13th. It may be bleak at times, the oven door may have fallen off – so I may be living off stir fries and spending New Year’s at home, drinking with my cat – but personally I’m fine with that.

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