Living in York in the United Kingdom during COVID-19

I don’t get really really sad all that often, but last night and today I’ve been pretty bummed out. Last night, Sunday May 10th, Boris gave an update about measures and next steps being taken in the UK to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The tl;dr; for me is that the country is not opening up (much) again anytime in the near future. My family, who was planning to come for almost an entire month in June, will almost certainly not be coming (this already seemed fairly unlikely, but I was holding out up). Lindsay and I will more than likely not visit another restaurant, museum, coffee shop, library, or pub while living in this wonderful country. We won’t visit Ireland or Northern Ireland. People we are just really starting to get to know and form friendships with we likely won’t see again before we leave.

The pubs and restaurants aside, we just have not experienced COVID-19 anywhere other than York, with our friends and neighbors here. So when the parks and the pubs return to normal and our wonderful little community here is celebrating the end of the COVID-19 lockdown measures, we will almost certainly not be here to witness or be part of that phase of this experience.

To be clear life has been pretty easy for me during this period (and here and in this blog post in general I’m going to speak for myself, Lindsay may feel different about some things). I’ve had work to keep me plenty busy, we have all the food we want and our health is good. We have each other for company, we have amazing neighbors we “bump into” occasionally (through their kitchen / dining room window and the door to our back garden). There green space all around us and we can go for walks through fields with geese and ducks and more birds singing that I think I’ve ever heard.

The weather has also been particularly nice, though I can’t honestly tell if that’s helped or hurt. There have been a few bright, sunny days that feel like they have so much potential for gatherings and events and we might walk through the middle of town and only see a handful of people when generally the streets would be packed. On the flip side, being able to go for some nice long (and within government guidelines!) walks with the bright sun has been really amazing.

Our flights that we had scheduled to return back to the States keep getting cancelled. We had intended to move back from the UK in July, but because of the uncertainty around flights (will they be cancelled?) we’ve had to move our timetable up quite a bit to mid June to make sure IF our flights are cancelled we have enough wiggle room to book another flight.

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