: Collecting Covid

Covid stories: 'Everyone has learned that in the end, a simple life is best'

Jan, Cardiff, 30 July 2020

Jan’s contribution to the Collecting Covid: Wales 2020 questionnaire project.

The current Covid situation has brought us closer as a family and we have spoken to neighbours we didn’t know before… We have communicated by Zoom with our children. Our son is a doctor and has been involved in ITU in a main London hospital. He was pleased to contribute on the front line but equally pleased to leave it when things settled down.

The lockdown was a rollercoaster. I am now used to the new normal although miss my children dreadfully from the point of view of actually being able to see them. I am calmer than I was at the beginning of the pandemic but still very much aware of my own anxiety about keeping a social distance with people.

One of the ways I dealt with my anxiety was to walk the streets of Cardiff taking photographs of people’s window displays - the colourful rainbows and the messages of support to NHS workers. That activity, playing quizzes online with the family, my dad’s 90th in the garden at a social distance and clapping and chatting to neighbours on a Thursday night will stay in my mind forever.

Everyone has learned that in the end, a simple life is best. I have certainly learned to appreciate my local community more - the corner shop and veg and fruit barrow, the market - who all went out of their way to help with providing food. It made me think how lucky I am to have a garden and green space outside my door. Everyone I have spoken to have appreciated how much more difficult it must have been and still is for those who live in high-rise flats/have mental health issues and those who are on the NHS waiting lists. It makes you appreciate what you have rather than what you don’t and how maintaining good health is a priority.

Covid stories: “We have had tears and laughter”

Family of three, Rhyl, 30 June 2020

A family’s contribution to the Collecting Covid: Wales 2020 questionnaire project.

[We] get up, have breakfast. Mum logs onto work computer and checks work for the day. Son aged 8 gets up, generally wears pyjamas or a onesie for comfort, eats breakfast and watches one gaming episode on YouTube, starts school work. Mum starts work and supports with schoolwork. We have three breaks per day usually and pack away at 4pm and have tea. We then either watch TV or play games until bedtime.

We have been using Nintendo ring fit for exercise… Recently we have been told we can go out for exercise but be careful. Have since spent time on the local beach when the weather is nice for an hour or so a day. Father works away - keyworker ship captain in Belgium working to support electricity production. I work as a civil servant (mum). This has been very challenging to juggle work and school and childcare alone. Often it is lonely and very hard work.

Son has not seen another child face to face for 4 months. He is missing his friends and school… We have had to adapt, it has been difficult and it has taken its toll on our mood on lots of days. Home schooling is hard as mum’s job is demanding and especially so during the pandemic. Son has more school work than usual because the onus is on completing work, rather than teacher pupil learning journey. We have had tears and laughter but ultimately, with two weeks to go (son’s school not re-opening until September) we have done it and we are very proud of ourselves.

Straeon Covid: “Dw i ddim yn wir yn dyheu am fynd yn ôl i fywyd fel yr oedd yn union”

Richard, Penrhiwnewydd, 22 June 2020

Cyfraniad Richard i broject Casglu Covid: Cymru 2020.

Symudais i yma ym mis Ionawr 2020, felly mae hi wedi bod yn anoddach fod i nabod fy nghymydogion, ond dw i'n synnu faint o sgyrsiau dw i wedi eu cael gyda nhw wrth weithio yn yr ardd neu roi'r bins allan! Ar wahân i'r ffaith fy mod i ddim wedi gweld fy ffrindiau wyneb yn wyneb, yn gyffredinol dw i'n meddwl fy mod wedi bod mewn cysylltiad â nhw yn amlach os rhywbeth drwy gyfryngau digidol.

Dw i'n dal i weithio, felly ar wahân i fod gartref dyw patrwm yr wythnos ddim wedi newid yn fawr iawn. Codi, cawod, ymarferion, brecwast, logio ymlaen, gweithio, cinio, gweithio, logio i ffwrdd. Mynd am dro. Swper. Hamdden. Gwely.

Y prif beth yw'r lleoliad – gweithio gartef. Mae'r gwaith mwy neu lai yr un peth, ond mwy o waith yn cysylltiedig â Covid-19 sy'n golygu gweithio'n hwyr neu dros y penwythnos weithiau.

Dw i'n prynu llawer mwy ar lein gan gynnwys bwyd gan siopau lleol sy'n dosbarthu. Ac o ran mynd i siopa mewn archfarchnad, er enghraifft, dw i'n mynd yn llai aml, ar y dechrau unwaith yr wythnos, efallai rhyw ddwywaith nawr, ac yn mynd i siop cigydd lleol ryw unwaith yr wythnos.

Dw i'n trio cadw pellter yn gyffredinol, golchi dwylo, gwisgo masg i fynd i siopa. Trio cadw'n iach yn gyffredinol drwy fynd am dro (ar droed neu ar feic). Dw i wedi cael pyliau o deimlo'n emosiynol, yn enwedig ar y dechrau. Ddim yn gallu edrych ar y newyddion ar y dechrau. Y pethau lleiaf yn fy ypsetio. Teimlo'n ofnus. Ond adegau eraill yn teimlo'n hapus fy mod yn byw yn rhywle mor hardd a bod bywyd yn braf. Teimlo'n well nawr nag oeddwn ar y dechrau.

Dw i'n meddwl bod y cyfnod dan glo wedi rhoi cyfle i wneud pob math o bethau newydd. Dw i ddim yn wir yn dyheu am fynd yn ôl i fywyd fel yr oedd yn union. Dw i'n colli gallu teithio a mynd mas am bryd o fwyd.

Covid Stories: “My memories will be of the selfish people that stock piled and prevented others from having goods”

Mark, Swansea, 20 June 2020

Mark’s contribution to the Collecting Covid: Wales 2020 questionnaire project.

I work in a supermarket. No closure, no furlough, no difference. Panic buying started off with just toilet roll and handwash, other areas largely untouched. But then no section was safe. I took pics on my phone of almost whole aisles stripped.

It might just be me, but while there were stories of volunteer and support groups, my memories will be of the selfish people that stock piled and prevented others from having goods. Those that proudly displayed their stockpiles on social media. And did you know that there are now people bringing back large amounts of pasta, UHT milk and canned goods. “I don't want these now, I want my money back”. At least the company has declined to refund.

Covid Stories: "It's brought me back to church regularly and I love that"

Ariane, Bryncethin , 16 June 2020

Ariane's contribution to the Collecting Covid: Wales 2020 questionnaire project.

I'm living in Bryncethin (near Bridgend and Aberkenfig) in a detached house with my parents and my boyfriend. It's over three floors with a decent sized garden.

I've been on Skype with my family. We've done a birthday party and a pub quiz. I've also Skyped friends. I've also helped my mum out with her virtual church services by helping with the worship and helping her to communicate online with her congregation. Lewis controls my mum and my dad's phones which stream to Zooms and Facebook Live. Mum also has Zoom on her laptop which screenshares the service (liturgy and hymn lyrics). Me and dad lead the worship with guitar and singing. It's like a normal service from my mum's study but minus the congregation. It's brought me back to church regularly and I love that.

I was furloughed at the beginning of lockdown, so other than cleaning and gardening, I’ve been helping my mum with church, playing video games and watching telly. I also blog a bit – my sleeping pattern is horrendous. Lewis is a student nurse who was called up to work with the University Hospital of Wales, so I also drive him to and from his shifts, and if he's on nights then I affectively am too.