Opinion | One student imagines how the Covid-19 lockdown will be remembered in 50 years time

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By, Reece Jordan, Third Year, English Literature

Day 7 since enlistment. I have just got back from venturing across no man’s land to Tesco and noticed that new poets have begun sprouting here and there across the internet. Who knew that amongst the dregs and trenches of Facebook there would appear the Wilfred Owens of this wartime quarantime? “When this is over…” So anthemic! I wipe my arse in loo roll salute, comrade! “Copy and paste if you felt something.” Yes, sir!

When this is over, and seventy years hence, will there be a revival of the same nostalgia for an idealised past?

Will there be the documentaries? | Unsplash / CDC 

Will there be the documentaries? “And now on BBC1 we get an insight into what life was really like during quarantine with ‘The Isolation Nation,’ shot in grainy 4k.” Opening sequence: elderly woman, all cyborg-limbed, presented with the new five-pound note that has Boris Johnson’s face on it. “Oh, I remember his speech like it was yesterday,” she says, pointing to the caption below BoJo’s Shrek-hued chin (‘some of you will die – whatever it takes’), “I had Churchills running all down my spine!”

Will there be the mantras of today affixed to the walls of yummy mummy iKitchens? ‘Stay At Home, Save Our NHS x’ – above the hob; ‘I Like My Men How I Like My Social Distance – Two Metres Long!’ –next to the cupboard; and ‘The Ancient Inalienable Right of Free-Born People of the United Kingdom to go to the Pub ;)’ –concealing the beers in the fridge.

I’ll see you all on the frontli– I mean, Facetime.

Will there be the conventions? Men rocking up with beard-trimmer-shaved heads as women dance synchronised TikTok routines of ‘The Boring Twenties’. A keepy-uppy loo roll competition in one corner, a Netflix bingeathon in another; and somewhere, someone, all alone, can be heard periodically exploding in spasmodic applause at a retro NHS poster. All this being video-broadcast to another convention, miles away, via Houseparty – now defunct but annually resuscitated for the occasion.

Will there be the televised anniversaries? Will our grandchildren watch archival footage of the day all restrictions were lifted? Will they see the parties in the streets? Chaos in the pubs? Snogging in the fields? And when they look on at this unlived and unremembered past, will there begin to bloom, like an artificial poppy, a subtle pang of envy?

God knows. Anyway, I need to go and wash my hands, so I’ll see you all on the frontli– I mean, Facetime.


How do you think you'll remember the coronavirus lockdown?

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