Lockdown one year on: Reasons to be cheerful

Today is the one-year anniversary of the first lockdown. It has been heralded as a national day of reflection.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 8:31 am

A time to dwell on our collective losses; the lives tragically cut short or those put on hold.

Everything that could have been but, sadly, was not. Yet, all is not doom and gloom.

Across the county, thousands of people have had good things happen to them during lockdown. One of those is 27-year-old Nat Shelly from Steyning.

Nat Shelly and tom Sleven with baby Harriet

On July 1 2020, she and her boyfriend, Tom Sleven, had a baby girl together.

Now nine months old, little Harriet has not known life without coronavirus.

Nevertheless, Nat said: “we’ve had a great year.”

While Harriet was “totally a surprise, it was the right time for us,” she said. “Everything worked out really well.”

Baby Harriet

In fact, the virus was a positive for their family. “With it being lockdown and Tom furloughed, he had six or seven months with her [Harriet] that he wouldn’t normally have had if he was on paternity leave.”

“Because we couldn’t go anywhere, we were able to get settled quicker and spend a lot more time together as a smaller family unit.”

Plus Nat joked that being pregnant meant that she had a welcome excuse to send Tom out on household chores.

“If anything, it was quite nice that I didn’t have to go food shopping.”

Nat Shelly with Tom Sleven and baby Harriet

Now that lockdown is set to lift, the family said they were looking forward “to going out and seeing friends with their new baby.”

“It’ll be good for Harriet to socialise.”