We made it through March. Always, always my least favorite month of the year–the dregs of winter dragging on for 31 days, so tedious after February’s brief 28–made even more dismal by the circumstances of a pandemic and lockdown; now, add in that today is the first anniversary of my father’s death.
But tomorrow will be April.
The combination of spring weather and an easing of lockdown restrictions this week has made an obvious difference in the vibe around here. It feels like we have finally made it through The Darkest Winter, and never has spring felt so much like coming out of hibernation.
Everyone is emerging from their hermitages, looking less like beautiful metamorphosed butterflies and more like hairy, hangry bears, desperate for socialization and sunlight, and probably also a roots touchup.
For the past week and a half, we have watched a tragedy unfold right here in our neighbourhood. Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman, left her friend’s house on the street directly adjacent to our block, and began walking home to Brixton, across Clapham Common. She never arrived home.
About a day later, I started receiving messages from people sharing the information that a woman had disappeared from our area. Missing person fliers appeared on every post around here.
A massive search took place over the following days, with police combing Clapham Common and knocking on doors, asking people to check their doorbell camera footage from the night she disappeared. Helicopters hovered over our typically quiet (by the standards of a major city, anyway) neighbourhood.
And we are officially in lockdown lockdown. The real deal. “Tier 5” in what was a 3-tier system just a few weeks ago. It now feels like we’re back where we were last April (but with worse weather). We’ll be doing at least half a term of homeschooling/virtual learning, as Bo-Jo announced that children won’t go back to school until after the February half-term break, meaning March. At the earliest. Now is the winter of our discontent.