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An Imaginary Lockdown From Past Years

(33 Posts)
TerriBull Sat 27-Jun-20 09:27:06

In light of the fact that what we've been going through is unprecedented. Have any of you pondered what it may have been like for you if such a virus had swept the world years ago and you were locked down with either your children say mid teens, straining at the leash to go out all the time or further back in time with your parents when you were a teenager.

Nightmare scenarios in both instances shock

How do you think you'd have coped ????

travelsafar Sat 27-Jun-20 09:33:17

I vaguely remember a Smallpox outbreak or was it Typhoid ? late 50's or early 60's . I have an picture in my head of queueing at the local GP surgery with my family and having an innoculation done, a small scratch on my upper arm. Anyone else shed light on this hazy memory?

Ellianne Sat 27-Jun-20 09:37:58

I think we all cope with different things that come along at different stages of our lives. It is only afterwards, especially as we get older, that we stop and reflect. I am amazed how we humans lurch from crisis to crisis and just move on.

Pittcity Sat 27-Jun-20 09:40:06

Nightmares indeed Terri

Just one TV and phone (expensive calls) and no supermarket deliveries. Paying with cash or cheque.

We've not got it so bad really, especially if we're retired.

TerriBull Sat 27-Jun-20 10:13:12

I agree Pittcity, on balance, and if you are lucky enough not to have underlying health issues, I would have hated to have lived through a lockdown at any other time of my life.

At the outset of the lockdown when we were all advised one hour's outside exercise only, saw many teenagers congregating in our local park, I remember saying to my husband, they shouldn't be doing that but imagine if we were trying to get our children, particularly the older one to toe the line and not meet up with friends in gatherings, we'd have had no chance of enforcing that. Equally, I can remember being a teenager and wanting to go out all the time. I feel sorry for the parents having to deal with all manner of added pressures right now.

MrsEggy Sat 27-Jun-20 10:28:44

Travelsafar, there was a smallpox scare in Birmingham in the late 1950s/early 60s. I believe the virus escaped from a lab at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I was vaccinated then somewhere in the City Centre ?Public Health Department as I wasn't done as a baby. I remember it made me quite feverish for a few days.

Grammaretto Sat 27-Jun-20 11:03:15

I hear from one friend who lives in a small city flat and both her teenage children are back home (from uni and gap year etc) She is just about surviving thanks to their allotment. DH has found somewhere to escape to I believe..... He goes for long walks.
Back then I think we would have murdered each other. We had the dog to take for walks. She would have been exhausted.

I feel most for my DD who is in a new (to her) house, in a rural area, with no neighbours and 2 small DC. and a DH who works long hours. I think she is amazing. I must tell her.

BlueSky Sat 27-Jun-20 11:25:38

I remember in the late '70s early '80s ? the children were small, there was a fear of an imminent nuclear attack and we had warning adverts on TV and I believe a booklet with guidance. It was an horrendous prospect which my then husband took very seriously frightening the children and myself to death with ''preparations'.

Callistemon Sat 27-Jun-20 11:28:09

I can remember the Asian flu pandemic and we did just carry on as normal.

There would have been no internet so none of the discussions on social media but no online grocery shopping or other shopping either.

I think people would not have broken out like they are doing now; in fact very few people we knew had cars and few seemed to behave so irresponsibly as well as leaving their filth for others to clear up. Keep Britain Tidy.

Blinko Sat 27-Jun-20 11:32:58

I think our generation (I'm 70+) is lucky in this pandemic, provided there are no major health issues and finances are ok. We have no need to fear quarantine or losing a job, we can get groceries and other items at the click of a mouse - and how strange would that sound to our grandparents? smile

Juliet27 Sat 27-Jun-20 11:35:42

It was the early 60s if I remember right for the smallpox inoculations and in the late 50s we had a series of polio inoculations.

MayBee70 Sat 27-Jun-20 11:38:28

Blue sky: I can remember that. It said to hide under the stairs if I remember right and I wondered how I was going to cope with changing nappies in such a confined space. I was really scared.

Lexisgranny Sat 27-Jun-20 11:42:04

I remember the smallpox scare, I was in London in College and we all had to go to a rather dismal hall where we queued for ages for the jab in the arm. Then later the rumour went round that the subsequent redness and blister could be soothed by alcohol. Suffice it to say that there were many who choose to misunderstand that the instructions were for bathing the sore spot. In the event the result was probably the same!

Maggymay Sat 27-Jun-20 11:45:11

I remember having the smallpox vaccination our GP came to our house and did the whole family.
We were all quite ill afterwards with flu like symptoms.

Callistemon Sat 27-Jun-20 11:48:29

I do remember children I knew catching poliomyelitis and those who survived still suffer the consequences today. We were warned not to go to swimming pools when there was an outbreak near us.

It was something to be frightened and it affected children and adults to varying degrees although most displayed no symptoms.
The epidemic lasted for about 10 years at its height until a vaccine was discovered.

Grannynannywanny Sat 27-Jun-20 11:56:19

BlueSky you’ve just confirmed for me that my memory is failing me. My friend and I were walking and chatting yesterday and I was reassured by the fact that her memory was as bad as mine.

But I honestly have no recollection of the fear of an imminent nuclear attack in the late 70’s early 80’s when my children were small. Maybe I really am losing the plot despite my friend convincing me otherwise yesterday.

blondenana Sat 27-Jun-20 12:04:04

The Smallpox was 1962 i think, as my eldest son was vaccinated, only him for some reason.
Also a lot of TB around then too
My next door neighbours daughter, who i was friends with got Polio. i think it would be about 1950 -51,she was only 1 in our street, strange that i saw ger every daym but didn't strangely affect me or my sister

Bellanonna Sat 27-Jun-20 12:19:35

I remember polio, called Infantile Paralysis then I believe. I remember, too, seeing an affected child wearing a calliper on her leg. At its height swimming pools were closed to stop spread of the infection.

Terri I have often thought how lucky we are during this pandemic with distractions like social media, the ability to binge-watch various programmes, to join in zoom classes and conversations via Skype with family, and of course those valuable shopping slots.

It must be so difficult for parents of older children especially if the parents have to work from home.

Vulnerability is a big disadvantage at our (DH and my) age but
on the whole we are lucky, and it’s up to us to protect ourselves.

Grannynannywanny Sat 27-Jun-20 12:33:09

I started school in 1959 with a boy who had been very ill with polio. He’d spent several months in an “iron lung” He was left with a very weak leg and wore a full length calliper for the rest of his life.

I sat next to him in class and can vividly remember him clicking the knee hinge on it to unlock it so he could bend his leg to sit down. When he stood up he clicked it into a rigid position to walk.

Tweedle24 Sat 27-Jun-20 12:33:25

My school was closed in the late 50s for a 'flu epidemic. I did not catch it but, we were not kept in. It was just time off school.

BlueSky Sat 27-Jun-20 12:48:29

Yes MayBee and Grannynanny horrendous prospect of even surviving a post nuclear war fall out with young children! At least this virus is not radioactive, can you imagine?

annodomini Sat 27-Jun-20 12:49:56

Asian Flu was 1957-58. Many of our teachers were ill, and lots of my fellow pupils, but the school never closed. None of the prefects had caught the virus, so were sent to babysit junior classes who I'm sure never learnt a thing! I got it on its return visit the next spring and it was awful, the worst flu I'd ever had; and I seemed to catch flu most winters!

Callistemon Sat 27-Jun-20 12:51:04


My school was closed in the late 50s for a 'flu epidemic. I did not catch it but, we were not kept in. It was just time off school.

Our school carried on regardless.
There were only 3 of us left in my class of 40 still standing.
Then I got it.

TerriBull Sat 27-Jun-20 13:02:38

I only remember lying in a darkened room, with measles, probably pre school age, I can't imagine what it would have been like being cooped up at home with my parents say mid teen years and not being able to go anywhere. I also wonder how they would have dealt with not being able to go to mass which was of upmost importance to both of them.

I absolutely feel sorry for parents right now, but particularly those with teenagers, mine seemed to spend those mid teen years, roller blading, skateboarding, footballing, swimming and would have hated to be indoors most of the time, particularly in the summer and I just know I'd have been fighting a losing battle especially with my older one, trying to get him to adhere to social distancing.

Going back to my youth I do remember some talk of getting under the table in the event of "the bomb" being dropped, I think I was junior school age and thinking "that won't save us surely, we'll need a much stronger table" shock

quizqueen Sat 27-Jun-20 13:16:33

When I was a teenager in the 60s, a lot of people worked in factories so, if they had been shut down, a lot of the population would have had no money, and I doubt there would have been furlough money in those days. I lived on a council estate and my friends lived in private housing miles away, as I went to the town grammar, so I was always self sufficient. I would have spent my time reading or listening to pirate radio stations-no siblings.

My own teen daughter would have spent all the evenings on the house phone calling her friends. I paid for unlimited evening calls up to an hour at a time so I would have been monitoring the time at 59mins. She would then have just put the phone down and restarted the process again and again. She would have been happy to engage with her younger sister playing with Barbies or board games in the day. Also, she was friends with the boy next door so they would have chatted over the fence for hours.