Pickling carrots and laptops in cling film – mums share the 'weird things' they did during Covid

When news first broke of a little-known virus hitting Britain’s shores, Britons waited with bated breath for the government to say more about the coronavirus.

All we knew at the time was that a respiratory disease originating in Wuhan, China was infecting people and it wasn’t good.

It soon became clear that the disease was fatal, although many of us still had questions about who was at risk and what it would mean for our families if we contracted it.

Read more: Tesco makes decision on its stores as Omicron causes staff shortages

By March 16, 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had told us: “Now is the time for all non-essential outreach and travel to stop”.

On March 23rd it was an official lockdown and we were ordered to “stay at home”.

As two years since that historic month draw near and the Government comes under scrutiny for holding a garden party at 10 Downing Street at a crucial time, Britons are recalling the ‘strange’ things they did in March 2020 in an attempt to avoid contagion with Covid-19.

Mumsnet user Jay36 asked other forum users, “I was wondering what were the weird things you were doing at the start of the pandemic because you were worried about the coronavirus?”

They added: “I’ll go first. I left my shoes outside as I was worried about bringing the virus ‘in’ if someone coughed onto the pavement!

“Bleached the doorknobs every day. I feel a little crazy now!”

Washing shoes and air guns

DrSbaitso said: “These things weren’t crazy at the time though. It was very scary and we didn’t know what we were dealing with, how it would end, how contagious or dangerous it was.

“I’ve frozen a lot of food. Including eggs and leeks.”

Messilia took reinforcements to the supermarket. They recall: “I took my teenage son shopping when lockdown first came and everyone was panic buying. Not to help carry it, but in case he had to fight!”

Others took an even more military approach. Alayalaya said, “I shot clay pigeons when I was a teenager. So I went to my parents’ attic and got my air pistol. I honestly thought I would have to use them to deter looters when food ran out.”

Some people looked to international studies and planned that way. Stairway wrote: “We bought nicotine patches when French doctors thought smokers wouldn’t suffer so much from Covid.

And KindergartenKop used leftovers to preserve food. They wrote, “I’ve been pickling carrots in leftover pickle juice in case the supermarkets run out of veggies.”

Maddy68 recalls, “I used bleach to wipe down all my purchases. Left my shoes and coat outside in case I brought the virus inside.”

Normski67 said they did the same, commenting, “I washed the soles of my shoes with a bleach solution after going outside.”

ToddlerTeaPlease commented, “When my parents finally agreed to a garden visit, I had to sit in a chair with a towel and a garbage bag.

“I had to use the upstairs bathroom where the light was already on and the toilet paper roll was already being dispensed.

“I had to use my dad’s laptop and it was wrapped in cling film before I was allowed to touch it.”

They added: “My mum wore a mask and gloves the whole time. In her own garden.”

What preventive measures have you taken that you would now describe as “strange”? Let us know in the comments.

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