The Lockdown Blues
A colourful person walking under a bridge, with cars, buses and planes above.

Isolating Shift Patterns

My job in the MoD means that I’m deemed a Critical Contractor. At the start of the pandemic we were working on projects that were critical for National Defense tasks for next year. To minimise the effects of a Covid outbreak in the work place, and following government guidelines, those who could work from home, did so. Our shifts were altered so we didn’t see any of the other shift patterns. This was fine at first, but as time went on you start to feel more isolated, strange when you are working with a small team of 4 people, just a quarter of what our normal shift structure would be.

When the country was placed into lockdown we were ramping up towards our ‘Live firings’ trial. This was made harder due to people working from home, communication was by email and it was a slow process which highlighted the isolation that those of us left on site were facing. This was further amplified by the fact that we couldn’t go into other buildings, nor take our lunch to have with our colleagues who were working on other aspects of the same project.

Travelling to work, it was noticeably quieter on the roads, a few cars, the odd ambulance and a lot of lorries. We knew something was coming a few days beforehand, as we all got ‘Classified National Contractor’ letters sent to our home addresses…

19 weeks later, as far as work goes little has changed. Being able to see friends and family has been a big bonus.

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