12 people reflect on their life-changing lockdowns

Anya Meyerowitz
·4-min read
Photo credit: Justin Paget
Photo credit: Justin Paget

Today (23rd March) marks one year since the UK first went into lockdown — after Boris Johnson outlined measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The past 365 days have been unlike any most of us have experienced in our lifetimes, and each and every one of us have been hit with our own hardships, upsets and moments of darkness.

It's not been an easy year — especially for those who have experienced grief or are still suffering from the impact of COVID on themselves or their families — and yet, within the four walls of our homes (amidst the banana bread baking and tuning into the government's 5pm daily briefing) there have been moments of heightened joy, discoveries and unexpected positives.

Whether you were spurred to get back in touch with a long-lost friend to rekindle your bond, got to know your children that little bit better or dove head first into caring for yourself and your health in a way you'd never done before, the positive stories that have come out of lockdown come as an uplifting reminder.

So, as well as a minute of silence at midday today, to mark a day of reflection for us all, we're making a concerted effort to take some time to think about some of the heartwarming, life-changing and downright incredible things that would have never happened without lockdown.

We reached out to our Red community to hear about your positives. Below, 12 people reflect on the unexpected positives that have come out of their year in lockdown:

Unexpected positives that have come out of lockdown

'I finally had enough time to launch my podcast @YouLookLikeMe_ which aimed to follow the search for my biological father. I discovered him while I was recording it and so was able to document the process in real time! Amazing timing after 15 years of searching for him.' - Louise McLoughlin (@LouiseJoUK)

'I started a charity event on a whim when everyone was feeling dowdy and miserable in Jan. It was called @partydressday and we raised more than £1700 for The Good Grief Trust as well as connecting friends and strangers together. Lots of fun too. Happy to be named.' - Alex Lloyd (@alexlloydjourno)


'I went back to school as my industry (live entertainment) stopped overnight. I put myself on a part-time social media marketing course whilst home-schooling and it's the best thing I've done in a long time. It's been so refreshing to learn new skills and kept me sane.' - Katherine Camps Kilgour (@brightmediapr)

'I launched my self-care period box (Blob Box) after losing my job and spent most of lockdown trying to find something that gave me purpose.' - Eniye Okah (@eniyeokxh)


'Accidentally adopted Jack, a failed guide dog, and moved out of London to the countryside!' - Anna Codrea-Rado (@annacod)

Photo credit: Anna Codrea-Rado
Photo credit: Anna Codrea-Rado

'I finally stopped running away from my feelings about losing my mum to suicide 15 years ago, and am finding ways to bring her to life for my kids, by wearing her amazing vintage clothes. It's been emotional and unexpected. I have an Instagram diary celebrating her here @jenbnyc.' - Jennifer Barton (@JenBNYC)

'I was able to speak openly about my PTSD diagnosis after years of silence and shame. I wrote a memoir about it and channelled my lived and professional experience into working directly with newsrooms to help facilitate conversations around mental health in the newsrooms.' - Hannah Storm (@Hannahstorm6)

'At 64, lockdown has forced me to take up running, and to almost enjoy it. I struggled through minor injuries and hurts and now manage 5k x 3 a week. I'm not fast or particularly elegant but I’m proud of myself.' -Gilly Usborne (@GillyUsborne)

'Definitely the connection with my now 9-year-old daughter. Our time spent in conversation, sharing feelings, really getting to understand each other has been priceless, and leaves me confident that there is no negative residue left from my marriage separation.' - Susie Ramroop (@SusieRamroop)

'My positive HAS to be being able to fully understand and get the right help for my daughter - who has ADHD. The one blessing is that we have got into a good place. FINALLY!! Took 6m of lockdown hell to jolt us into acting - wouldn't have happened without the pandemic.' -Lucy Baker (@geriatric_mum)

'I finally braved leaving London and moving back to my hometown after years of wanting to. I had been scared it would damage my career. I went from living in a small studio flat before the 1st lockdown to living in a two-bed house with a garden and a cellar and I'm so much happier!' - Nicola Slawson (@Nicola_Slawson)

'Started having therapy and it's slowly changing my life for the better. I really don't think I'd have done it without the catalyst of lockdown.' - Sian Meades-Williams (@Sianysianysiany)

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