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Keeping Sane in Lockdown

Keeping Sane in Lockdown by Marguerite Shaw


Since March 16th 2020, I have cycled about 500 miles on roads around the Tewkesbury area.

Aged 85, I was horrified at the idea of being told to self-islolate and stay in my house alone for an indefinite period. 'Why should I ? I am fit, sane, competent and reasonably intelligent,' I said, 'and intend to remain so.'


Cycling and gardening have been my life-savers, giving me exercise in the fresh air, enabling me to distance myself from others and at the same time giving a little to the community. I have caused no pollution of the atmosphere, helped to maintain, at the Abbey ,a large garden that would otherwise have become overgrown, and joined a new companionship of the countryside where walkers and cyclists have rediscovered nature's simple beauties.


For not only have I maintained my fitness, I have met, greeted along the way and admired many folks on roads temporarily free of traffic. Birdsong has replaced engine noise, families have been free to explore old footpaths and almost everyone has worn a smile. Even the 50-miles-before-coffee brethren have saluted me, despite my grey hairs that stick out beneath my helmet because I cannot have a hair-cut.


Have I been irresponsible? I think not, for I have kept my distance, used my bike also to do my shopping and not, as far as I know , been a burden to anybody. Lucky me. I am thankfull to all those workers who have helped us through this crisis.

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