Lockdown life – the everyday impact on Bedford: Part two

Coronavirus public parks sign

Bedfordians have been sharing their experiences of the coronavirus ‘lockdown’. Giving emotional but also heart-warming insights into their experiences as we face the coronavirus pandemic together.

In this chapter, Nas Ahmed shares how his job as a doorman has taken a turn in a way he never thought it would.

Let’s make sure everyone is looked after

  • Week 1 of lockdown I spent at home with the kids.
  • Week 2 of lockdown it all changed in one day…

From working years as a Door Supervisor/doorman/bouncer in several pubs/clubs in the town centre, The Rose, Slug & Lettuce, Cross Keys (classy I know) G&D etc, to finding myself at 5am Sunday morning last week, freezing cold on the doors of Tesco.

Life has changed slightly to say the least, hmmm, well it goes from checking for drugs & weapons, stopping drunken fights, wearing a stab vest every weekend to checking shopping trolleys for milk & bread, “only one allowed per household, sir”.

From allowing your friends in at the club to jump the queue to now treating the elderly and disabled as VIPs so they don’t have to queue up in the cold.

From letting your friends stay in for a lock-in after closing time, to now letting the emergency services access the supermarket during closed hours so they can carry on tirelessly saving lives.

From seeing a queue outside the club full of party goers, clubbers and drunks waiting to hit the dance floor, to seeing a queue of NHS staff all lined up with trolleys waiting to hit the shop floor to do essential grocery shopping.

Instead of clicking and counting the number of party goers we have in the club, we’re counting the number of customers/trolleys we’re allowing in, one in one out at the supermarket, crazy times!

A colleague of mine who is 6ft 6” tall and a pretty big unit who wouldn’t hesitate to challenge 5 drunk lads causing aggro in the pub but had to come up to me and ask me if I would go up to an elderly gentleman.

He was waiting to pay for his shopping and I needed to tell him that he wasn’t allowed to have have a blue milk and a red milk as it was restricted to one per household, he didn’t have the heart to tell him himself.

I’ve been walking up and down the aisle (no not getting married) checking customers’ trolleys like the ‘food police’ or even a ‘food pervert’ at times.

It’s “sorry sir, one bread, one milk, one hand wash, one toilet roll, and three of everything else, enjoy your meal”.

My name badge should read ‘Nas – Food Police’ – I’ve got five stars too bruv.

How to submit your own lockdown experience

Sharing your experiences, and how coronavirus is affecting you, will help others and also create a social record of how coronavirus is affecting us all.

How you write your experiences is entirely up to you. But here are some pointers:

  • Please submit photos to accompany the piece
  • Describe who you are? Are you a teenager, a parent, business owner or volunteer. Who you are will help readers understand your point of view
  • Write it in a way that’s personal to you and your experiences
  • You can talk about anything you want. How you feel, what you’re doing differently, how family life is at home, but be honest
  • You can write a diary style piece, a list of ideas, or simply a story, be as creative as you like
  • Try to keep it about 400 words

Send your article to news@bedfordindependent.co.uk.

Submissions from all ages are welcome. Please include your full name and what area of Bedford you live in. We won’t need your street address.

We’re letting customers know what they can have and explaining what the restrictions are, always with a pleasant smile.

Soon it will be no jeans, no tracky bottoms, no trainers bruv and collars please gents, sorry bruv none of that Mr boombastic ting in here tonight please.

Having to judge who is elderly enough or vulnerable or disabled enough and then having the confidence to ask them politely if they’d like to come to the front of the queue.

Passing 40 other customers who have been waiting since 5am in the freezing cold and then hoping they won’t ask you “why us?”. It’s tough at times.

On the pub/club door we just ask for ID and guest list, that’s generally good enough to jump the queue.

We’ve all had to make some changes these past few weeks and there’s going to be more changes coming. Relax yourself, there is plenty of everything in the supermarket ,just a few restrictions so no need to panic.

Let’s keep sharing the community spirit and support that we’ve been showing so far. Let’s make sure everyone is looked after, time to be generous and give whatever you can.

Whether it be your time by checking up on neighbours, family & friends, sending that smiley face photo of the kids to loved ones, or just by understanding that these changes effect us all and to share some kindness.

Peace out folks, stay positive and stay safe.

By Nas Ahmed, Bedford

Articles edited for typos and grammar only. If you have a coronavirus story you’d like to share with fellow Bedfordians, you can find out how to take part at ‘Tell us your coronavirus ‘lockdown’ experience‘.

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