Covid: The lessons I learned from lockdowns in 2020

By Kirsty Grant
Newsbeat reporter

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image copyrightAmelia/Leonie/Josh

Third time's a charm right? You certainly hope so, as England and Scotland go into their third national lockdowns.

Northern Ireland and Wales are under similar restrictions, meaning once again all four nations are in lockdown together.

In a speech on 4 January 2021, Boris Johnson warned the coming weeks would be the "hardest yet".

As we head into what's expected to be at least seven weeks of amusing ourselves indoors, Radio 1 Newsbeat has been hearing what people learnt from the previous lockdowns.

image copyrightLeonie Wall

Leonie Wall, who is 22 years old, wants to "be easier on herself" after her lockdown experience in March 2020.

"To be honest, at the very beginning of the first lockdown, it was a bit of a novelty," she says.

Leonie was sent home from university and isolated on her own in her flat.

But after that novelty wore off, and she settled into lockdown, she started to put "a lot of pressure" on herself to "be productive and get things done".

"When people are doing home workouts, going for runs all the time and I'm sat there eating a bag of crisps in front of the TV. I was a bit like, 'maybe I should be doing that'."

Leonie's looking for work after graduating last year, but she feels a job is "even more impossible" now.

"We've all had such a difficult year, sometimes I have to remind myself that the world has literally come to a stop.

"I'll allow myself to just actually relax without feeling guilty for not being productive."

image copyrightAmelia Benjamin
image captionAmelia was living in Birmingham for the first lockdown

Back in March 2020, 23-year-old Amelia Benjamin moved back in with her family for lockdown.

"I realised 'Oh, this is going to be very long'," she says. "And then I just started buying Amazon products."

Amelia had more spare cash than usual because she had moved back home. She estimates she spent almost £1,000 ordering things online, "as a treat" for herself.

"I read somewhere that Beyonce uses a weighted hula hoop so I even bought one of those."

She's now trying to get rid of the bits she accumulated, and this time she wants to save money: "I'm looking at my bank account now. I definitely can't afford to do it again."

image copyrightMichael Taylor

Josh Murray, 28, says he "took the nice weather for granted" during the first lockdown.

In 2020, he was working from home in Lisburn. "I knew the weather would be good the next day so I thought I could afford not not to get out for a walk that day."

Now, though, he is really keen to "get into the routine" of going outdoors.

"When you're working from home it's easy to sit behind a computer all day, and probably eat a lot of food.

"Then when you're finished for the day you'll sit in front of the TV because it's dark and it's cold outside.

Josh says getting fresh air helps him "keep a clear head", even if the weather is freezing.

image copyrightAmelia
image captionAmelia feels like she "wasted" some of her days

Amelia also wants to make sure she's up and about more than last time.

"When I had zoom calls, I would change my top and just stay in my pyjama bottoms.

"I would work from my bedroom, and if I wasn't working I wouldn't wake up until midday.

"Now I know I feel much better when I take a shower and get dressed and leave my bedroom much more."

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