Start March 2020, End..?

We are living through a time that is unique in history. In a few weeks we have gone from life as the old normal to a new normal that none of us would have guessed at. We have a unique opportunity to record our experiences at this time as they happen to be recorded for posterity (and the time to do it too).

Any contributions please contact me, Paul Ward  07483 815160

It is surprising how quickly we come to accept a situation that is far from normal as our new normal. Likewise when this current situation ends we will go back to our previous lives and soon forget how odd it all was.

Great Paxton Parish Council minutes for the periods contain no mention of the first or second world wars, they became so "normal" that it wasn't worth mentioning any more.

I would like us to collect and collate peoples' experiences and thoughts of this time to be recorded in the village archive for future generations.

To this end I would like you to send me pictures, videos and writings that demonstrate what life is like at the moment in ways that mark it as very different to anything that went before.

These will be collated and preserved as part of the village archive as paper and electronic versions (where possible).

What to record?

When looking back on historical records it is often the ordinary and everyday examples that are the most fascinating and give the best impression of everyday life at the time, the lives that the ordinary people lived. The incidental information that doesn't seem so important at the time and is so everyday that it is unremarkable is actually rarely recorded and is particularly interesting.


Diaries, scrapbooks, descriptions, thoughts etc. These do not need to be a complete record of the whole period, a snapshot of a day is fine. All experiences are useful and valuable, all ages, all households, all commentary of how your life has changed and how you perceive this time.



Pictures that illustrate the lock-down in some manner. Not an obvious one this as a picture of you in lock-down in your garden looks very much like any picture of you in your garden, a little thought may be needed. A caption to describe what is happening is very useful, plus names (optional) and a date please.



Of things that would not otherwise happen and show how life has changed at this time.

As a starter and indication of the kinds of experiences that have become our new normal.

The UK and much of the world is on lockdown.

All flights from UK to USA are suspended.

Diesel price at Morrison’s was £1.10.

School cancelled.

GCSEs cancelled.

A-Levels cancelled.

EastEnders, Emmerdale and Coronation Street have suspended filming and number of episodes per week cut down so they last until early Summer.

Self-distancing measures on the rise.

Tape on the floors at shops to help distance shoppers (2m) from each other.

Limited number of people inside shops, therefore, lineups outside the doors.

Non-essential shops and businesses forced to close.

Pubs, theatres, restaurants, gyms and cinemas are closed.

Entire sports seasons are cancelled.

Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events - cancelled.

Weddings, family celebrations, holiday gatherings - cancelled.

Churches are closed. Graveyards are shut.

You're not allowed to socialise with anyone outside of your home.

Children's outdoor play parks are closed.

Shortage of masks, gowns and gloves for our front-line workers.

Shortage of ventilators for the critically ill.

Panic buying sets in and we have no toilet paper, no disinfecting supplies and no hand sanitiser.

Bread, pasta, flour, eggs, chicken and chopped tomatoes are sold out everywhere

Shelves are bare.

Many supermarkets are only allowing you to purchase a certain number of each product e.g. With Aldi it's 4 of each item, Sainsbury's it's 3 of each and Co-op it's 2 of some items.

Manufacturers, distilleries and other businesses switch their lines to help make visors, masks, hand sanitiser and PPE.

All non-essential travel banned.

Fines are handed out for breaking the rules. Police are patrolling the streets.

Arenas open up for the overflow of Covid-19 patients.

Press conferences daily from the government.

The government throws money at businesses to try to keep the economy from imploding. Grants and loans. The government to pay 80% of employees wages where businesses cannot continue to do so.

The whole of the UK are clapping outside their front doors, out their windows and from their balconies at 8pm every Thursday to show their appreciation for the NHS and all frontline staff.

Daily updates on new cases and deaths.

So far, over 1 million confirmed cases and over 50,000 deaths.

The dead are denied wakes or funerals and barely anyone is allowed at the graveside.

Barely anyone on the roads.

People wearing masks and gloves outside.

Essential key workers are terrified to go to work.

Medical field workers are afraid to go home to their families.

We're only allowed out for work, if it's not possible to work from home, essential food shopping, as infrequently as possible, medical supplies and exercise such as a jog or walk once per day, locally. We have to keep a distance of 2 metres from people outside our own households. We are not to meet up with anyone outside our own household. We are not to be in gatherings of more than 2 people, unless it's with our own households.

This is the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic, declared March 11th, 2020.

Why, you ask, do I write this status?

One day it will show up in my memory feed, and it will be a yearly reminder that life is precious and not to take the things we dearly love for granted.

We have so much!

Be thankful. Be grateful.

Be kind to each other - love one another - support everyone.

We're all in this together.

Any contributions please contact me, Paul Ward  07483 815160