After nearly three months of the COVID19 lockdown and related social distancing and self-isolation practices, I have enjoyed a day of socialising with a friend. It wasn’t a planned outing, but my friend messaged this morning to see if I would be up for a walk around the estate where I live with him and his dog. I’d not seen my friend for several months, and I hadn’t met his new rescue dog, so I jumped at the opportunity!

The walk was made possible because Scotland’s lockdown rules changed a couple of days ago to allow for travel away from home for outdoor exercise (within an approximate 5-mile distance). The rules also now include meeting with people from other households for outdoor exercise – if social distancing is maintained. And as my friend lives in a more urban area, this was a terrific way for him and his dog to get out into the countryside.

We spent about two hours walking around the estate, covering a little over 5.5 miles. In that time, we caught up on how we are managing lockdown (mostly well) and about how excited we are for a time when the world gets back to (some form of) normal. And it was such lovely weather that it made the walk that much more enjoyable.

For me, today was just what my soul needed to keep me going for a while. Whilst I have been coping quite well with the lockdown and the isolation that comes along with it, I have also been very, very bored. And I have been worried that ongoing boredom might lead to a dip in my emotional well-being. And I think that the walk was good for my friend’s mental and emotional well-being, too, and that makes me incredibly happy.

And so, I have socialised with a real live person (other than my housemate) for the first time in months. And it was great!

Here’s hoping that we can continue to conquer this nasty little virus so that we can get back to life as we used to know it. No, scratch that: let’s not go back to what we used to know; let’s move forward with some great upgrades for the whole of society!