Coronavirus log: Isolation has shown us all that we've taken for granted
Reporter Rhoda Morrison reflects on life before lockdown and the changes we could make once it's all over.
In a matter of days, life as we all know it has changed completely.
Think back to the days between Christmas and New Year when you set out goals and resolutions and planned what 2020 was to hold for you. Now fast forward.
Britain - along with many other parts of the world - is in lockdown because a killer virus is on the loose and seems to be targeting our elderly and vulnerable.
We're allowed outside only to buy food and essentials, to exercise once a day and to help those who need it most.
If you had told me all this in December and explained to me that all I had planned for the year - a summer holiday in Seville, a family day at the Newmarket races with my little nephew, or even getting into a better gym routine - wouldn't be possible in just three months' time, there's no way I, and I'm sure many more, would have believed it.
It goes to show how much we take for granted and how often we forget to be grateful for the very things we fill our days with.
For the freedom to nip to the supermarket when we run out of milk, for being able to meet friends in our favourite pub, for stopping for a quick chat in the street, and for being able to drive from one end of the country to another to visit family.
In a way, it's terrible that it takes all of life as we know it to change, to stop us in our tracks, for us to realise that the ability to go for a walk - even if against the wind - is something to be thankful for, that peace and calm is something to be sought, not avoided, and that time spent sharing stories with friends over a bottle of wine or with your family around the kitchen table is something to be cherished.
We're all used to a world that's fast moving in which our days are scheduled by the hour.
We have become obsessed with reaching our destination in the fastest time possible, having our parcels come by next-day delivery and being able to pop to the shops 24 hours a day.
We need things to look forward to and when we do, we count down our days as if they're worthless in order to feel one step closer to that summer holiday or pay day.
We sit in houses full of books, games, films and photographs but instead choose to look down at our phones, reading the thoughts of hundreds of people we've never met and ignoring those of the person or people sitting next to us who we've chosen to spend our lives with.
And by doing so, we lose sight of all that we are lucky to have, and all that we could lose if something terrible were to happen.
But through all the horror the world is facing right now - loved ones dying with no one by their sides, many of us living in fear that we or our families could be next, businesses being forced to lay off staff and shut up shop, and parents struggling to feed their children or pay their rent - I hope we can all find some time to slow down, reconnect and be grateful for all we have now and all that we had before.
I hope we see that not only is our tomorrow not guaranteed but nor is our freedom.
As the saying goes, you don't know what you've got until it's gone. Let's not make that mistake again when we come out of this on the other side.
More by this authorRhoda Morrison
This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)