Don Your Way column: How lockdown has catapulted us all backwards in time

Like the last few columns, this week’s dispatch comes to you once more from my dinner table, now requisitioned as the offices of the Doncaster Free Press.

By Darren Burke
Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 8:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 8:01 pm

Modern technology of course allows me to gather, write and publish stories from the comfort of my own four walls during the coronavirus lockdown.

But while all the talk is of Zoom calls, Skype, WhatsApp groups and video hangouts, our extended period of isolation has also catapulted us firmly backwards in time too – and in many positive ways.

Roads are naturally quieter, the skies are empty of aircraft and you can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature unhindered once more.

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Lockdown has brought back some simpler pleasures, says Darren Burke.

Indeed, one of the simple delights of my working days is to open the window and listen to the birds singing and heralding in another day, even if its hugely similar to the last. And the one before that. And before that. You get the idea.

It seems in times of crisis we yearn for simpler times, pleasures past and nostalgia.

My partner and I – sadly split apart during lockdown – have been writing to each other on top of keeping in touch via texts and calls. You know, that old fashioned thing called writing with a pen and using envelopes and stamps and stuff.

Anyone who’s set foot in a socially distanced supermarket any time in the last month hoping to indulge in a bit of home baking will probably have left empty handed wondering where exactly the nation’s supplies of self raising flour have disappeared to.

I’ve heard of people painting, crafting, woodworking, learning musical instruments. I’ve been watching retro football matches, listening to music from the 80s and 90s and finally getting round to reading the pile of books that have been piling up since the dawn of time.

In this time of struggle, which we’re all in together, it seems we’ve happily headed back to a time of home cooking, making do and mending, board games, conversation, song and dance and community spirit.

And however long this may last, that can only be a good thing.