From sleep to a bit of la petite mort: the unexpected joys of lockdown
As level 3 arrives, we look back at the good things that have come from being stuck at home
Lockdown gets a bad rap. Before it started we were all floating around complaining about not being able to cancel plans and nursing an unfulfilled lust for swanning around naked in the garden. Good Old Cyril and his pals at the World Health Organisation gave us what we wanted. We have all the time and privacy in the world to get the buns out, while still doing some work. Now that they’re allowing us to buy ingredients for a margarita, we’ll basically be living in a pseudo-capitalist paradise. Despite this, lockdown has had some very bad PR. Well, I’m here to tell you that sometimes lockdown is great because:
Back in the time of offices, we wasted a lot of time driving. Driving from home to work, from the office to the gym, from gym to school, ad infinitum. All that driving is exhausting. Oh, and there’s the added inconvenience of your car. If you decide to go for an after-work drink, you have to work through the hassle of where to leave it and how to fetch it. Thanks to lockdown, we can do all of those things at once. Want to fetch the kids after “school”, but you’re stuck in a meeting? Just mute yourself and walk into their bedroom. Need to work out, but also do some shopping? Open your Nike app on your phone and Takealot on your laptop, and do some scrolling in between sets. Lockdown has given us hours back and that’s great.
Pre-lockdown gave us the final season of Game of Thrones. Lockdown gave us Tiger King. Pre-lockdown robbed us of the ability to sift through the jacuzzi-warm waters of streaming television. As with any hot tub, there are times when it’s not great, but in lockdown we have had the time to find those deliciously obscure jets of entertainment that titillate our unplumbed depths.
As exciting as the Houseparty calls have been, perhaps one of the most fantastic benefits of lockdown has been being able to get more sleep. Despite people scheduling Zoom meetings as if each gets you 10% off a post-lockdown meal in a restaurant, sometimes not seeing certain people is great. In the before times, work, church and all of our other social obligations meant we were always stuck in situations with people we didn’t much care for. Now we only talk to the people we want to talk to and apparently that is good for your mental health.
Sleep glorious sleep. Afternoon naps, mid-morning naps, early evening naps. The world is awash with nap times. Your kids can do it, too. Everyone loves a nap. The benefits of naps are boundless. You become less grumpy. Sleeping increases your sex drive and sex improves your sleep. Naps are scientifically proven to make you happy, so, in essence, lockdown has given us access to joy we didn’t have before. That is what I call a win-win.
At the beginning of the year, the world was not very conducive to certain types of day-time fun. . Between work, the gym and cooking supper, it seemed as if there was never enough time to relax in your sun-dappled living room, enjoying a bit of intimate friction. Whether with a consenting partner or a fast internet connection, it is undeniable that experiencing la petite mort during the day feels mildly spiritual. If you have children, lock the door, tell them you’re taking a nap and get down to the business of self care.