There is much we can’t do, although some argue that it doesn’t qualify a lockdown. Others think it should be tougher. The original version was even more restrictive.
But we can all agree that it’s not great. So in a hopeful attempt to spread cheer, here is a list of activities we are allowed to do now that weren’t an option when the first lockdown started in March 2020.
Go to the toilet
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This has come as a huge relief. Public toilets were closed during the last lockdown, but most are open as usual this time.
Watch elite sport
You can still watch Sunderland, Newcastle and Hartlepool, albeit on screens. This has led to unkindly discussion of the definition of the word “elite”, which in this context really means professional.
You can’t attend in person, but you can also watch snooker (not sure why that was scrubbed last March), tennis, cricket and something called rugby.
Form childcare bubbles
During 2020’s more stringent lockdown grandparents, aunties, uncles etc. weren’t able to help out with the darling cherubs of friends and relatives. In the current version it’s more difficult to wriggle out of.
Within social distancing you can still attend your church, temple, mosque, synagogue or wherever you happen to worship. This wasn’t possible in the first lockdown and is welcomed now. Even the most avowed atheist might think prayer is worth a shot under the current circumstances.
Weddings, in exceptional circumstances, can proceed with six or fewer people present, excluding workers such as the registrar.
Funerals can be attended by up to 30 people.
Buy fast food
When McDonald’s reopened in June 2020, the Echo reported on hour-long queues to order “fast” food.
Starbucks also offer click-and-collect. But local coffee shops are doing takeaways too, if you care to check. Just saying.
Do DIY and gardening
Hurrah! Who doesn't enjoy a spot of gardening in the middle of January? Amid some lively discussion about what counts as “essential”, garden centres and DIY shops are open. You can purchase tools, paint, compost and all that jazz. The downside is that you might be expected to use them.
Dump your rubbish legally
If none of the above sound like a special treat, you are still able to whisk that someone special off to the tip.
Only kidding. Childbirth was never banned of course. However, partners in the first lockdown were prohibited from attending scans and could only be by the mother’s side when labour was fully established; then leave an hour later.
This was a mite controversial, especially as there were no pubs to wait in.
Current rules are more relaxed.
Get your dog groomed
But only for welfare, rather than “aesthetic” purposes. This means your hound can be cleaned and trimmed for health reasons. However, if a ribbon is added after grooming then you’re naught but a common criminal.
This was all but impossible in the early days of Lockdown One. But in 2021 you can flit to your heart’s content, again within guidelines.
So why not babysit, eat hamburgers, watch footy, give birth, groom the dog, frequent a public convenience, then move house? It’ll fill your day if nothing else.