For better or worse? Telegraph readers tell us how a year of lockdown has changed their lives

The lockdown has changed my life for… the better.

How did you feel when the UK went into lockdown for the first time?
I was shocked and upset that Boris hadn’t followed Spain and France sooner when he went into lockdown. I had been reading about Covid since January and when I read about the UK’s original herd immunity plan I immediately stopped using public transport.

What has been your biggest challenge during lockdown?
I canceled my wedding at Thorpe Manor in Oxfordshire in June. I had spent so much time, energy and money planning our wedding. We loved our venue and unfortunately my husband is French and I am American so any international travel was neither possible nor safe for our guests.

I was devastated and cried for a whole weekend. We ended up having a very small ceremony for 12 in the US in August, so we’re just grateful we got married in 2020.

I wasn’t around family and friends in the US (they are in California) so it was difficult to call them due to the time difference.

Have you experienced any unexpected positive moments during lockdown?
I’ve always been adamant that I would never ride a bike in London because of the traffic, but the quiet, closed streets made it possible for me to take up cycling. My husband got me a bike as a wedding present and it felt like the ultimate freedom from our daily walks. We went on bike rides daily and walked around town at night with cocktails.

I don’t think I would have met any of my neighbors if it wasn’t for lockdown. We really checked each other in, went on shopping trips together and people showed their empathy and compassion for one another.

What would you have done differently if you could repeat last year?
I wouldn’t change anything. It’s been challenging and scary but I’m safe and healthy and so is my family so that’s all I can ask for.

At times I’ve wanted to get more involved, especially during Black Lives Matter protests, but I didn’t want to spread or catch Covid. That’s really my only regret – I should have gone and worn a mask.

It’s difficult to help remotely, but supporting our local restaurants and cafes during the pandemic has been important. I didn’t want our main street to disappear once restrictions were lifted.

“I’ve juggled my senior year of university, my mental health and my role as a supervisor”

Sophia Spooner, Leeds For better or worse? Telegraph readers tell us how a year of lockdown has changed their lives

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