Documenting life in lockdown

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch West Sussex worked with East Grinstead Museum to document life in lockdown.  The museum wanted to use the contributions to create an exhibition and Healthwatch wanted to understand the impact of lockdowns on health and wellbeing.  12 people completed a questionnaire.

Largely people reported being resilient, but others found lockdown boring. Most people realised it would be a historic event when they received a letter from the Government and heard more in the newspapers.

Initially some did not think COVID-19 was real or believed it was something less urgent, as they connected it to something known. Concern increased with the use of PPE and face coverings. Some people have become more anxious and frustrated as the pandemic has progressed and some have accepted that COVID-19 may well be around for some time to come.

Most people followed the rules to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.  Many were worried about catching Covid-19 during March/April 2020.  More feel relieved now that they’ve received their vaccinations.

Most respondents found some household items difficult to access initially, but once things settled down there has been no problem. Food home delivery slots were an issue at first due to the sudden high levels of demand but this settled down quickly.

Many parents have found it difficult to balance home working and home schooling during the lockdowns. Not seeing family members has been challenging for many as has not being able to socialise and meet up. Some people have got bored as they have run out of things to do. Some lack motivation and are frustrated by the blanket Government directive for those who needed to shield due to a long-term health condition. For many in education, having to work online has been challenging.

For many people they have appreciated their gardens as they have been at home and spent much more time working and relaxing in them than previously.

A number of people shared that their physical and mental health has been affected by the lockdowns. Some have found they have more time on their hands, have become more anxious, fatigue, less motivated, insomnia, negative thought patterns, comfort eating and put on some extra weight (which has been upsetting), not as fit as previous. Some have used self-care strategies such as mindfulness.

For some, the lockdown has provided an opportunity to try something new, rediscovering the natural world, developing links with their community, connecting with others, and being more grateful. For some they do not yet know, as the pandemic is still active.

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General details

Report title 
Documenting life in lockdown
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch West Sussex
Date of publication 
Thursday, 3 February, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 March, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 30 April, 2021
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Health protection
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Other (please specify)
Primary research method used 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not applicable

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.