Post-Latitude covid has made me realise pandemic has a long way to go

An aerial view of the Obelisk Stage arena at Latitude. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

An aerial view of the Obelisk Stage arena at Latitude. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

Like 40,000 others I was amongst those to head to Latitude Festival last week for what was by far and away the best four days I've experienced in a very long time. 

Buoyed by the protection provided by both jabs and reassured by the scale of covid checks taking place on site, our group danced, smiled, laughed and sang.

It felt like being in an alternative universe, far, far away from the ongoing stresses of the so-called 'pingdemic' and rising infection rates.

Aerial photos show the extent of this year's Latitude Festival in Suffolk.

Aerial photos show the extent of this year's Latitude Festival in Suffolk. - Credit: Mike Page

However, there was to be a sting in the tail. A week later I'm at home writing this whilst three days into isolation after testing positive for covid.

I've no evidence it was contracted at the festival (if it was it was still worth it, for the record), but given the many reports I've heard of people coming back and also testing positive, sadly I think it was.

Fortunately my symptoms appear to be mild. It currently feels like a heavy cold, I'm still able to work and, a couple of years ago, I would have carried on as normal until it passed. Hopefully that's a sign the vaccine is doing it's job.

However, I can't help but find it ironic that, post vaccination, I've got covid for the first time and my family and I are having to cancel pre-made plans and stay at home.

I'm finding the psychology of having covid fascinating. Fortunately I didn't come into direct contact with many of my colleagues post-Latitude, but my main feeling is one of guilt for those three people who are isolating and testing every day because we shared a meeting room.

Crowds enjoy Supergrass on Saturday at Latitude. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Crowds enjoy Supergrass on Saturday at Latitude. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

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It's also made me sit back and realise that, for all the talk of 'freedom day', the honest truth is that the impacts of covid on our every day lives will remain for a good while yet.

I never really brought into the concept of 'freedom day' and this vision that there would be some VE Day-like moment when we all stepped out of our houses, hugged and got on with life again. Ironically, Latitude was as close as we've got to that.

But equally, I don't think I'd quite clocked that, post-vaccine, covid would still impact in such a large way.

But, while the vaccine roll-out continues, it's important my family and I isolate and do our bit. I've come to realise I'm at home now to protect others, not necessarily myself.

But, once everything has been done to get the vaccine out and protect as many as possible, tough decisions need to be made as to whether we can continue the isolation process in this way - or will we just have to get on and let the jabs do their job?     

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