With the Coronavirus pandemic turning our world upside down, we thought it would be good to get a snapshot of life under lockdown. Our creative director David Huskison gives us an insight into what his new normal looks like.

What a difference a month can make! Words that we never thought we’d have to utter in our lifetime have become the new norm around the dinner table. Words such as “social distancing”, “self-isolation” and “global pandemic” sound like something out of some cheesy Saturday night disaster movie. It has now become our new reality.

40 days in (at the time of writing this) and we’re finally starting to get used to the situation we’ve found ourselves in. So what does the new normal look like in a house that is now an office, a school, a gym and (at times) a virtual pub? Here’s a snapshot of life in isolation.

PE with Joe

As soon as Boris Johnson announced that we should work from home if we can, both myself and my wife decided to shut down our offices and implement home working. So, we have been home schooling our son Sam for a few weeks now. We have several workbooks and school activities for him but in the new normal, we found a sound, structured routine hard to stick to, especially as the days and weeks started to drag on.

This is where P.E. with Joe has really been a blessing. Every weekday morning at 9am is a half-hour P.E. Session with Joe Wickes, which, over time, Sam has become more engaged with. His favourite day was last Friday where it was dress-up day. Working out in a full Spider-Man costume complete with mask has been by far one of the highlights of the last few days. I’ve promoted myself from spectator to participant in the sessions and I’ve even got the old exercise bike out and have found it a great way to start the day. You never know, after life starts getting back to normal, I may even join a gym!

Draw with Rob

As you may have guessed by now, our new normal seems to revolve around the small person in our life! When I saw Rob Biddulph on BBC Breakfast announcing he was releasing drawing classes every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am, this immediately became part of the new normal.

It is amazing to see how far Sam’s drawing skills have come along in such a short time and how Rob has inspired him to seek out more tutorials online so he can perfect his drawings. In case we didn’t know already (which we did) the lockdown has definitely shown us that we have another creative in the family!

Stream and chill

Browsing through Netflix one day I came across I Am Not Okay With This. So I thought I’d give it a go. I was pleasantly surprised, which I really shouldn’t have been after learning it was created by the producers of Stranger Things and the director of The End of the F***ing World (both of which I’d highly recommend if you haven’t seen them). Think Carrie meets The Breakfast Club and you’ll get an idea of what this show is like.

Another series I’ve been streaming is The Mandalorian. Having watched everything other than The Rise of Skywalker, I went into this with caution. Bearing in mind the last Star Wars film I watched that I was truly impressed with was Rogue One, I wasn’t sure how a series of half-hour episodes would stack up. Turns out that Jon Favreau has created a rich and detailed story. For a character that never removes his helmet, you find yourself invested in his adventures with Baby Yoda!

And of course, I’m saving up the third season of Killing Eve so I can binge watch it in one sitting.

Essential tunes

As well as the regular dose of BBC Radio 6 music, I’ve taken the opportunity during time at my desk to sample some new tunes from different artists, some who already feature on my regular playlists, others who aren’t normally on my release radar. Here is a sample of some of the albums that have been on shuffle in the home office:

Staying in is the new going out

I could probably count on one hand and have fingers left how many pub quizzes I’ve been involved in over the years. It’s not normally my scene. But with the lockdown taking its toll (we’re on our third jigsaw… another hobby I’ve taken up) when freelance copywriter Dan McCalla gave us the opportunity to participate in a virtual pub quiz, we jumped at the chance. This has now become a regular Saturday night activity, complete with alcohol and snacks. I’ve even ended up on a Thursday night football quiz night!

And of course working… from home

It’s not all been Netflix and chill. There’s been plenty to keep me busy. As you can imagine, a lot of our client work of late has been focused on the pandemic. This has included leaflets, social posts and PowerPoint presentations for virtual meetings, covering everything from promoting medical products through to contact tracing proposals.

As well as this, there have also been a few branding projects to keep the creative juices flowing, including some development work for a new brand for a local racing driver. Here is a sneak peek at some work in progress.

Being isolated brings us closer together

One of the toughest parts of the lockdown has been not being able to see friends and family. But just because we’ve not been able to physically go round, it’s not stopped us from seeing them virtually. This is where FaceTime has been a blessing.

Rarely have I used FaceTime in favour of either Skype or Google Hangouts for work, but with the home office set-up, it’s enabled us to get the whole family on a group FaceTime on screens big enough to fit everyone in. It’s important in these strange times that we keep in contact as much as possible, especially so that Sam can see his grandparents and we can keep in contact with my niece, who is working on the front line with COVID-19 patients.

That is probably the biggest takeaway I can give you from this article. It’s more important than ever that we find a way to keep talking to one another. Just because we are either self-isolated or socially distancing, doesn’t mean we are alone. We need to work on our mental health as much as our physical health in this crisis. This can range from picking the phone up, setting up a video network or simply sending a tweet! As long as we can keep communicating, people will know that we are still there for each other. As the great Captain Tom Moore said:

“For all those finding it difficult: the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away”

So, stay home, stay safe and keep washing those hands!