Familiarity breeds comfort for those back home in lockdown

Lockdown restrictions have caused many people to make urgent decisions in terms of location, job and relationships.

Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 11:42 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 11:43 am
Black Lives Matter demonstration in Devonshire Green, Sheffield.

Many families have been separated, while others have been prevented from leaving home. There is anothergroup: those who have returned home for the first time in many years.

I moved back in March, just before lockdown, and my hometown has become unfamiliar territory.

Sure, I’ve been back for the odd weekend and Christmas, but since leaving sixth form in 2013, I haven’t spent a longer period of time at home – seven years isn’t an eternity, but enough time to have become independent.

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Conrad Guiney

Living at home has transported me back to my teenage years and many family traditions – Fleetwood Mac in the background, Saturday night takeaways, watching Nordic crime thrillers – feel as familiar as ever. It’s funny how after a certain point, families rarely break routines.

I knew it was necessary for me to readjust to my family’s ways and not the other way around. Although I’ve changed a lot over the past years, I’m glad my family hasn’t, because this meant familiarity.

A sad conflict the lockdown has brought is not having the option to really see Sheffield again – I’m back in the city but many of its doors are closed. I knew I was coming back to Sheffield before lockdown was announced and had a long to-do list which has diminished to ‘read, jog and catch up on films’.

Fortunately, Sheffield is a city beaming with beautiful external locations and I’ve really taken to the vast parks, green streets and even the hills.

I don’t have any real complaints about being back home, because I can’t forget how grateful I am - the only gripes involve choices of some kind: takeaway, shampoo, TV show.

That being said, I think I can live with being downvoted in my pitch to watch The Sopranos.

Although our conversations do seem to repeat themselves, I don’t ever remember my family having such serious discussions on a continuous basis.

The two major topics – coronavirus and Black Lives Matter – of the last months have had a monumental impact on society. Covid-19 has already changed everything, while BLM must change everything.

My time at home began with a fear of the unknown which has since moved into a fear not knowing enough.

I think it’s necessary my family has these conversations and if there’s a silver lining to being stuck inside, it’s being able to spend more time talking to the people around you.

Of course, ‘talking’ is only the beginning, but it is a necessary step we all need to take.

Being at home has been a wake-up call to my privileges and I will look back at this time with gratitude.