I’m sure I speak for many student journalists when I say that last week’s news of a voluntary lockdown absolutely thrilled me. Finally, a chance to write about something relevant to every student in St Andrews! I might even break double digits in readership this time! Human misery on a vast scale is like catnip to journalists. I might even do some interviews for a comprehensive analysis of what’s happened, I thought.

That was on Friday. It is now Wednesday, and with a fast approaching deadline, I have rapidly scaled back my ambitions. So, instead of some proper journalism, I hope you enjoy something which feels much more comfortable to me – a lightly satirical piece of sarcasm, in the form of a fictional log of lockdown. It’ll be fun!

Friday – 5:00 PM

After explaining to friends that yes, I know what ‘voluntary’ means, and no, I’m still not coming to our socially distanced beach walk tonight, and no, I don’t think this is a particularly well-thought-out way of reducing Covid spread, but yes, I’m going along with it anyway, I sit down with my flatmates to write a shopping list. On the broad strokes, we’re in agreement. Whatever food we can find, in as large a quantity as possible – check. Enough alcohol to cruise through the weekend in a have of pleasant tipsiness – obviously. But we fall down on the specifics. How much wine is enough wine? And will the Tesco alcohol aisle be able to support that demand all on its own? These questions require more consideration.

6:53 PM

After much thought, and with a list longer than an average SalMap email, we arrive at Tesco. What we find in its place is a barren wasteland. We are clearly not the only ones trying to hoard food in a desperate bid to survive the cruel 14-degree arctic blast of mid-September Fife. And our list-making means we were far from the first. Fighting our way through savage packs of students picking over the remains of Tesco Finest avocados, we realise the list-making was in vain. We settle for what we can find and haul our score back to the flat. It’ll have to do.

7:30 PM

It won’t do. The wine is already running dangerously low, and once we work out who deserves the last custard cream, the biscuits will be gone too. The others agree that I should be the one to make the trek to Morrisons for more booze and, secondarily, the other ingredients for dinner. I snach the last biscuit as I trudge downstairs. It helps, but it’s also clear this will be a very long weekend.

8:00 PM

The tsunami of student panic-buying hasn’t quite reached Morrisons yet, so I grab what I can and flee back to the flat. Maybe it’s paranoia but it feels like news of the lockdown has reached the townsfolk – every glance could be an accusatory glare. I look at the ground and shoulder my two bags of (mostly) booze in shame.

10:00 PM

Things have deteriorated somewhat. Fuelled by some bizarre need for human connection, my flatmates have decided to spend the entire evening together – and I have been dragged into the fray. This is new ground for our flat, which usually thrives on a strange mix of polite distance and drunken oversharing, which together average out to a normal amount of human interaction. Reaching that level the normal way, through ‘proper conversation’, is unsettling. I may not make it through the night.

!:00 AMM

You knoe it;’s actisllu not gone s bad as I thought if would. Mayve we should hust do this all the time becsuse theyre really nuce opeople . Anyway iyd time for bed, giiodnight lockdown journal :))))))))

Saturday – Morning Afternoon

I thought Saturday would be the worst day of voluntary lockdown, but I’ve been unconscious for half of it so far. Head hurts. Haven’t yet worked up the courage to get out of bed. Computer screen hurts eyes. I’m at 500 words, this’ll do. Goodnight everyone.