My Coronadiary staged a protest this month. June 2020 was just way too much for it to chew. But now we’re coming out of it, so, to coincide with the 30th and the imminent re-opening of London pubs, cinemas and barbers, here’s a breezy look back at things past and others yet to come. As the lunchtime news alerts me to new lockdown measures in Leicester, I’m wondering if barbers will be hanging up their clippers before they’ve had a chance to tackle their first Corona-fro. I don’t care; though my roots are in desperate need of tlc, I plan to barge my way into a big screen session of Chris Nolan’s latest film Tenet, after downing a pint in a newly-opened beer garden near me.

 This month we witnessed images of police brutality that will remain forever etched in the collective memory. George Floyd’s death rocked the world and spurred millions into action. This was the month we saw statues decapitated and toppled; peaceful protests from people of all ages and ethnicities called for an end to social injustice and racial inequality. This month we witnessed Trump incite violence and divide America further. Furthermore, the Leader of the Free World continues to politicise the coronavirus, urging his supporters to shun mask-wearing by spreading dangerous misinformation. Tip of the (melting) iceberg stuff, but suffice it to say he is not the droid we’re looking for.

With evidence now showing that the UK’s excess death record is the worst in the G7 nations, will we also be forever haunted by this grim legacy. Such gathering spectres of doom are enough to make you want to stay in a lockdown of your own creation. (And I do).

  But on the whole life chugs along, although for teenagers being cooped up and out of school is becoming slightly frustrating. Our weekends nudge towards their pre- Covid incarnation.  Keeping an ear out for the sound of the key in the lock (and the accompanying knowledge that the teenager has returned home safe), has replaced family games of Cards Against Humanity at the kitchen table on Saturday nights. The call of the dishwasher, however remains on high alert and cook we must. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Repeat.

So here, on a micro-level, are some June observations. (Don’t get me started on the fact that the English summer has so far been mainly cold and wet, with a few days of scorching weather in between. I refuse to discuss English weather.)

Queues at garden centres. This month I actually joined one to see what all the fuss was about. I wondered whether others in the queue would sniff me out as an imposter and search my thumbs for evidence of green. Turns out the people were nice and the experience provided a sweet spot in a locked down weekend. After queueing patiently, twice, we bought succulents and ferns then spent an afternoon potting them, arranging them inside, after which we opened a bottle of wine and applauded our handiwork.

Antibody test results. I am hereby positive for antibodies, but who knows what this means and for how long?  Will I ever get my aftertaste back? Also, does my positive status afford me any frequent flyer type rewards? 

I, like many others still in lockdown, stuck my head into some kind of mental spiraliser this month, which expressed itself through rampant unrelenting insomnia. One day, in sheer desperation, I decided to trade in my nightly glass of red wine and bowl of crisps in front of the telly, for a brand-new routine involving 6 a.m. running, seven days a week. I ran and ran, for days on end, on aching bones. Weeks went by, the insomnia wouldn’t budge, then one day I woke up feeling as though I’d been in a car accident. One ankle wouldn’t work at all and my neck was fused in semi- paralysis. I crashed in a heap. 

‘It’s Corona!’ I cried to anyone who’d listen (just the dog in this case). ‘The bats have entered my bones’. 

After months of delaying a medical visit out of guilt and fear, I made an appointment with my GP. Temperature checked and hands sanitized, I jabbered away at length through my Wolford mask, about insomnia, deathly tiredness, rampant exercise and the potentially sinister reasons behind my aching neck. 

‘Have you been at your computer more than usual?’ he enquired, mildly. ‘That can sometimes result in neck ache’.

‘Yes, I have actually…’ I conceded, ‘so does this mean you don’t suspect Corona-neck?’

‘No. You need to adjust your computer height.’

 He went on to allay my fears further, by suggesting I’m not the Covid Generation poster child for insomnia; many other people aren’t sleeping brilliantly in lockdown either. Sure, they’re having nutty dreams about Boris Johnson riding a lama, but anxiety is the factor affecting the quality of their shut eye. So, somehow, I left the doctor’s office feeling a load had lifted, vowing to pull back on exercise, cut back on the sugar and to just lighten the fuck up. It’s only a global pandemic after all.

We, along with thousands of others Brits, invested in bikes this Summer. Why didn’t we do this before, so that we may have taken full advantage of a deserted and eerily quiet Trafalgar Square, you ask? Well, bikes were sold out everywhere and the virtual queues went on for weeks. Although we are late to this particular party, we now have regular 7 am rides into the city, past Buckingham palace, along the Embankment, through Hyde Park and Chelsea and back to North London. Is it a bit full on juddering along beside double decker buses and black cabs? Yes, but there are so many cycle lanes on the city’s roads now, such moments are few. One memory from an early morning cycle trip that will stay forever lodged in my brain, is the image of the Tate Modern which now reads Thank You Key Workers in bold. 

June is the month that the UK Track and Trace App was scrapped. Scrap the App, Protect the NHS, Save Lives?  Just what the hell happened to the app? What about the Isle of Wight? And while we’re asking loads of annoying questions, where are the inoculated monkeys? 

Airbridges are freeing up, enabling desperate holidaymakers to finally head for Summer destinations within the EU Schengen Zone. Although, just this morning Greece has cautiously pushed back their projected commencement date. I feel bad for them, throwing open their doors to all us infected zombies when their record of containing the virus thus far has been so commendable. June has also been the month we saw Sweden’s bold non-lockdown experiment come unstuck. I’m taking off my Anders Tegnell inspired wardrobe and swapping it for something a little Jacinda Ardern instead.

Soon the lifting of restrictions will enable marriages to take place, although fathers will be unable to walk their daughters down the aisle. ‘Ridiculous’ scoffed one Radio 4 listener, ‘when they would have cloth to cloth contact only’. I can’t keep up with the social distancing terminology. Cloth to cloth? Bubble to bubble? Yes, that’s right, June has seen the dawning of the age of the Corona Bubble. Who’s in yours? (Cue paranoia).

And finally, June has seen the invention of the paper wine bottle. Where can I get one of these disposable beauties? I’m off to the Heath for limited exercise and unlimited picnicking. Now, I just need the rain to stop.