Barbara Plum – Whitby and the pandemic : a virtual archive of people’s experiences

Barbara Plum – Coping with Covid-19 – living in Church Street
My self isolation started on 13th March when I was asked if I thought it was still ok to come to do my voluntary reception work the next day at the museum. I was already thinking it wasn’t such a good idea so asked to be excused, I’ve hardly left the house since!
I live on the cobbled Church Street which normally is a very busy part of town whatever time of year it is. I love it, well I’ve lived here well over 20 years, I love hearing all the hustle and bustle going on in the street it keeps me company as I live, happily, alone. My maisonette is quite large but I don’t have any outside space and I was very dubious to go out of my cocoon SO each day I went up to my attic, opened the windows wide (for fresh air) put loud music on, songs from my youth, and sang very loudly and danced like it was 1969!! This has kept me going 😃 I felt it was good exercise, I was getting fresh air, I had many memories flying around in my head and it made me smile 😊 I didn’t know if people were passing by, 4 stories below, wondering what the noise was, nor did I care, I was going to get through this pandemic. I would then lean on the window sill get my breath back and take in the view of the world outside.
The street has been eerily quiet all day and night. No early morning dray wagons or delivery vehicles beeping up the street because they have to drive in reverse, as they are too big to turn round in the narrow street.
More people are starting to walk along the street now and a few shops have started to take the tentative steps to reopen, it is mid June now, I too am taking tentative steps and having a short wander around town but I’ll always remember my lockdown time and the eerie quietness of Church Street.
The attached photos are of Church St: before lockdown then during lockdown and my daily view