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Thursday, 22 April 2021

S for Shopping, Slogans and Statistics: A-Z Scottish Borders in Lockdown

A-Z Blogging Challenge 2021   - Scottish Borders in Lockdown
Recording My Everyday Life - A Picture for Future Generations
When the crisis first broke here, I did follow the herd and stocked up on basics  - not excessively I add  - but with toilet rolls, sanitizers, anti-bacterial products, and tinned goods. Eggs were in short supply in the village at one stage – also one pint of milk (as the only person in the home  who drinks it,  two  pints was not an option. 

Initially, it was a nightmare trying to get a groceries home delivery slot from my supermarket – you were  lucky to get one 3 weeks ahead and in April an order for £71 resulted in only £47 worth of goods being supplied.   There was talk of vulnerable customers getting priority, but there was  no sign of that with the online service   - I doubt if they had  even  my date of birth to identify me as such. However  the service improved considerably as new drivers were taken on and new vans purchased. A great service that I would not want to be without. 

It is now 13 months since I have been in one of major supermarkets - the nearest 9 miles away.

Ecommerce, Online Shopping, E-Commerce

 With only essential shops open i.e. food, pharmacy and supermarkets, there were attempts to get supermarkets to block off  what the powers to be regarded as "non-essential" products.  But where do you draw the line?    If your kettle has given up the ghost,  a new one becomes an essential item  to healthy living.  If you are working from home and need a charger for your mobile phone or IPad it becomes an essential item;  it could be  argued that computer products, books & magazines could be crucial for your mental well being - so that distinction was soonabandoned. 

The beneficiaries of Lockdown shopping  were the local stores  - I have never spent as much in Earlston on top-up shopping -  at the  Co-op, convenience  store, butcher, baker, greengrocer, pharmacy. 

Did I shop more online?   Not  excessively so.  Purchases ranged form the major (replacing tumble dryer and vacuum cleaner) to the minor (garden gloves, lawn shears, IPad charger, DVDs, Kindle books).  Trawling through online websites to find something that appeals in the way of clothes has never been my idea of retail therapy - and what was the point of getting  a new outfit, when I wa going nowhere!

An anecdote - a friend (not online)  had knitted a cardigan that she was pleased about - and then realised there was nowhere open to buy buttons to complete the garment!



The Media abounded with slogans to ensure we knew the rules, with the one above the most popular one - always highlighted  on  the daily government press conferences on the pandemic.  They did change slightly over time, though the exhortation to "Stay Alert" was  criticized for being too vague.  As Lockdown eased slightly, the message was "Stay Local" and i  like the latest one, reminding us of the benefits of ventilation in the home and getting outside in the fresh air.

Hands - Face - Space - Fresh Air 
Hand Lettering, Paper, Watercolour
[Look out for Letter V for Vocabulary in this A-Z Challenge when I will be highlighting new phrases and new meanings that have come to the fore with Lockdown.]
Again the media keep us up to date with the scale of the pandemic, both locally, nationally and internationally - and the figures are frightening! 
(Source: www.bbc.co.uk - April 21st 2021)

  • UK - 4.39milion cases; 127,000 deaths
  • Scotland  -   224,024 cases, 7664 deaths
  • In my own area, the Scottish Borders, Covid  deaths were low at  around 350 by  September 2020, but then they rose sharpy and currently stand at 2883 in a population of 115,000;  and remain the lowest figure in mainland Scotlahd. 
  • Worldwide  141.4 million cases;  3 million  deaths
  • The USA, India and Brazil have seen the highest number of confirmed cases, followed by France, Russia and the UK, with very few places left untouched.

  • As the UK moves out of Lockdown, there are major concerns at the spread in France  (how long will it take to cross the channel?);   and the figures for India (where my brother is currently working)  are escalating fast.

    Virus, Coronavirus, Sars-Cov-2, Flash
    Images courtesy of Pixabay


#AtoZChallenge 2021 badge


  1. We tried to get grocery delivery here, but we were too far from the stores, so no one wanted to do it. However, we did do orders on line and pick up at the store a few times. Mostly, we did a dash in and out of the store while following all of the safety guidelines. I will admit that in the beginning, I was pretty nervous when I would to into a store.

    1. Yes, I am wondering how I will/ be going into supermarkets and crowds, given it is now it is well over a year since I have been in a town.

  2. We cut out shopping trips in half. Spent a lot time ordering the things we needed.
    In the end we discovered we also cut our spending. So I guess that is a good thing.
    Tim Brannan, The Other Side: 2021: The A to Z of Monsters

  3. Thanks, Timothy, for your comment. We are a bit similar.We have been saving money during Lockdown, mainly because we are not doing much discretionary spending and not going out for lunches, which we liked doing very much so.

  4. We didn’t do online grocery shopping but only my husband went to the supermarket and he went very early in the morning.
    We all followed the statistics and got used to following the r value.

  5. My husband loves grocery shopping (I know, I know). He just couldn't come at online shopping although we did it when we needed to. A man's got to have a hobby and finding specials in the supermarket is Robert's hobby. I used to be obsessed with the statistics but stopped recording them in January. I think I found it far too depressing in the end.


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