Lockdown nostalgia: why lockdowns will try to make a comeback

Lockdown nostalgia: why lockdowns will try to make a comeback. By The Naked Emperor.

The Times newspaper published an article on Monday called “I have lockdown nostalgia, and I’m not alone”. The piece by fashion editor, Harriet Walker is concerning but predictable evidence that lockdowns could return at the drop of a hat at some point in the future.

I’ve had several conversations recently — at parties, ironically enough — that confirmed what the guilty little voice in my head has been whispering for some time: for many people, the enforced planlessness of lockdown was actually quite nice.

Many of the laptop class, those who could work from home, actually enjoyed their freedoms being taken away from them. Sad.

Their lives were in such a mess, so exhausting and so stressful that they needed someone to imprison them to feel better about themselves. Instead of taking control of their own existence, by changing things that weren’t working for them, they required society to lock them up. Pathetic. …

Let me get my tiny violin out to play some incredibly sad music whilst I listen to Harriet’s reasons for longing for lockdowns. “Constantly ferrying the kids between things”, “the roster of weekend clubs and activities” and weeknight work events”.

Tough life, maybe she should do a life swap with one of the hundreds of millions of people who were pushed into extreme poverty due to lockdowns.

Even single friends I expected to be livid with me for mentioning the L-word said they were wistful for time that didn’t come with the pressure to be used efficiently or productively. In this age of constant omni-channel communication, maintaining friendships can often feel like a second job.

That’s because you have rich friends, Harriet. They sat in their gardens, made banana bread and watched Netflix whilst the furlough money rolled in. I can guarantee that anyone who uses the phrase the “age of constant omni-channel communication” doesn’t have a clue about how the other half live. And if maintaining friendships feels like a second job, stop pretending you have so many friends. They are mainly fake, ditch them and keep the real ones.

The school-aged kids I know remember lockdown (the sunny one, anyway) with something close to fondness, too. Though it was tough for older teens, younger ones enjoyed walking the dog, reading and making up dance routines without worrying about what their friends were doing without them.

Once again, the kids Harriet knows are rich ones. The ones who aren’t part of the laptop class were often trapped in cramped apartments with no outside space. They struggled to complete homework due to the noise in the house and had to cope with stressed parents who had lost their jobs and couldn’t afford food. Many of these kids disappeared from the school system and still have not returned. Some were abused. Some witnessed domestic violence. Some sadly killed themselves. Many still have social anxiety to this day. …

It could happen again:

We are all still coming to terms with what we went through in 2020 and there is a certain pressure to perform “normal” again. But I’m determined to keep hold of some of that planlessness. It is empty time, I now realise, that keeps me feeling topped up.

And this is why her article is so dangerous. Because a large percentage of the laptop class still feel like this. They can be given stats and figures showing how damaging lockdowns were until they are blue in the face and they would still crave for another lockdown. …

All it would take is for another crisis, any crisis, it doesn’t have to be a pandemic, and these people would feel the pangs of nostalgia return. Power hungry governments would suggest lockdowns and whilst pretending to be enraged, behind the scenes they will push for them to go ahead. Anything to avoid the commute to work. Anything to avoid another face-to-face meeting. Anything to avoid another networking event. There are too many selfish people in our society. They think the world owes them a break because they work so hard in their bullshit jobs, drinking their soy lattes. And the only way to get that break is to dump on the poor people of this world from a great height.

It needed saying.