lockdown diaries

The Lockdown Diaries | We’re breaking the shielding guidelines to see my parents this week, and I don’t even feel bad about it

I know it’s not like me to start one of these posts on a positive note, but I’m feeling just a little bit more hopeful than usual this week, and it’s all because of this little section from the Scottish government’s route map for moving out of lockdown:

Scottish government routemap for easing lockdownThese rules should (hopefully!) come into effect this Thursday, and, OMG, I’m going to be allowed to see my parents again, people! And, OK, only outdoors and from a distance, but still: after 10 weeks of making do with Facetime, it feels like a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, really.

We know, of course, that although these changes to the lockdown rules will soon make it legal for us to have a socially-distanced visit with another household, it will still be against the shielding guidelines, which instruct Terry not to leave the house AT ALL, or have face-to-face contact with another human being. So there’s that. Here’s the thing, though:

We’ve been isolating for 10 weeks now.

My parents have also been isolating for 10 weeks now.

With the exception of my little trip to the post box last week (Which literally involved me taking about five steps from the car to the postbox – which I was careful not to touch – and back again.), none of us have left our respective properties since before the lockdown started. We’ve all been diligently washing our groceries and quarantining our mail. We know there are no guarantees, obviously, but the chances of any of us having managed to catch COVID-19 under those circumstances must be vanishingly small: so small, in fact, that we really can’t see any logical reason to force ourselves to remain locked indoors while everyone else we know gets to see their families again.

It would basically just be a case of sticking to the guidelines purely for the sake of sticking to the guidelines, and, as I said in this post, while we’re happy to continue avoiding actual risks, we feel we’ve reached a stage now where logic has to prevail, and where we have to make our own assessment of just how much of our lives and sanity we’re willing to sacrifice, in order to mitigate a risk so small that it barely exists.

neutral living roomIn this case, my parents live 5 minutes from us, have been isolating the entire time, and have a large garden which we can easily distance in (Or the adults can, anyway: we’re very aware that it’s not going to be tricky to keep Max away from his grandparents…), so we figure this is a better option than just resigning ourselves to remaining in complete isolation until there’s a vaccine. Which really isn’t much of an option AT ALL, is it?

We’re not going to go crazy, though. We know the virus is still out there, and probably will be for the foreseeable future, and, because of that, we know we’re in this for the long haul. So, we feel we can safely see my parents again, because they’ve also been isolating, but we won’t be meeting anyone else (And neither will they), and while we may start going for some socially-distanced walks at some point, that’s basically ALL that’s going to change for us until the vaccine arrives. Which is a pretty sobering thought, really.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m SO excited to get to see my folks again, and I know this one little thing is going to make a huge difference to our lives right now, but I’m also very aware that this is pretty much IT for us: that sitting in my parents’ garden (And maybe at some point even the house itself: I mean, can you IMAGINE?!) really IS as good as it’s going to get for us this year, and that I’ve just felt the need to write almost 800 words justifying why we’re going to do it. I know I keep on coming back to this, but if you’d told me this time last year that I’d one day write a blog post attempting to explain why I feel it should be OK to see my parents – and would still worry that someone was going to judge me for it – I would NOT have believed you. Not even for a second.

Still, here we are. Our lives have shrunk to a point where a socially distanced meeting with my parents will be the highlight of our year, and I don’t mind admitting, I’m pretty damn excited about it. Now, let’s just hope the weather is kind to us once the rules are finally relaxed: this is Scotland we’re talking about, after all…


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books by Amber Eve
  • Suzy


    So lovely to hear your positivity. Enjoy this small chink of light.

    May 26, 2020
  • Barbara West


    I’m excited for you, Amber! I read about Scotland’s plans over the weekend and hoped it would permit your family some relief.

    May 26, 2020
  • Mary Katherine


    That is such GREAT news, Amber! I have been feeling so bad for you all, all this time. It will seem like the party of the century! I finally had a social engagement with my two best friends – outside, socially distanced, and masks when we stepped inside – it was WONDERFUL. Fingers crossed for good weather…

    May 26, 2020
  • Ruth


    Really thrilled to hear this, such an exciting prospect after so many weeks of isolating. I’m sure it will do you all the world of good.

    May 26, 2020
  • Geo


    Hi I’m writing from Germany where things are a bit more relaxed ???? you know what, if your parents come into contact with Max and Max has contact with you, well, that ‘separate households as far as virus transmission goes’ ship has sailed really hasn’t it -so *actually*, and ???? naughtily ???? I don’t see why you can’t go all in and squeeze your parents till you’re all satiated with cuddles ????????????
    Of course, this is just an outlaw from abroad speaking… don’t listen to me, FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES *wink wink*

    May 26, 2020
  • Sandra


    Wonderful news, Amber!
    Here in Germany, we are out of lockdown since a while now. My boyfriend and I are still staying at home as much as possible and so do our parents. We do leave our house for some walks outside in nature, but that’s it. And after weeks, we decided to meet my partents, and I can tell you: It felt so good to finally see my family again! We stayed in the garden with enough distance, but still, what a warm and cosy feeling!
    I don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t see you parents as well. After all, finally seeing each other again feels so good and really lifted my spirits!

    Best wishes

    May 27, 2020
  • Amy


    England’s relaxing came a little before Scotland’s so my boyfriend came and sat 2 metres away from me while we had our own separately prepared and eaten picnics in my garden on Monday. I sat upwind of him and when he wasn’t eating he wore a mask. It was so hard having to coordinate everything (he couldn’t touch the gate or go in the house and I had to keep that minimum distance away etc.), but those two hours were pure magic and they healed parts of me. I’m so glad you get to see your parents. I think you’d be okay to touch them since you’ve all been shielding, but I know it is scary to consider. No one I know is shielding so no outside touch for me yet! I wish you fine weather for the meet and that Max is able to understand why he shouldn’t touch. x

    May 28, 2020
  • Amanda


    Ohh Amber after your last post I really am so pleased and happy for you to read this. I know what you mean about feeling like you have to justify it but it’s so obvious in everything you’ve done that you have given such care and consideration to what you will do and it’s so logical.
    As an aside I saw my consultant yesterday who whilst reminding me of my COVID risks and that isolation won’t be ending anytime soon for me also said that a coffee with our own mugs in my garden with my friend 4 m away sitting on a chair that I then leave in “quarantine” is about the lowest risk “rule breaking” I could do and very important for my mental health.

    May 28, 2020
  • Suzanne


    Ah this sounds wonderful, Amber! So excited for you. I’m glad that they’ve done a good job of setting out the guidelines so that there really is no room for error or judgement. Enjoy every moment when it finally arrives. Xx

    May 28, 2020