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  • Chris Keen

End of d̷e̷p̷l̷o̷y̷m̷e̷n̷t̷ Lockdown

In one of my previous blogs I compared lockdown and self isolation to some normal aspects of life within a military community.


Things like not being able to see friends and family, uncertainty, being told what to do etc etc...


Now I’m sure many military families may also be comparing coming out of lockdown to coming to the end of a deployment. Let me explain why...


Counting down the days

Deployments can vary in time but no matter how long they are you can pretty much guarantee that both the serving member and the spouse at home will be counting down the days.


There’s a thing called a chuff chart which is basically a tool to help you count down the days to the end of a deployment.


I’ve seen some really imaginative ones too, for example In the Falklands, the ATC lot each had a penguin and they would move that penguin around a road map on the wall. It looked a bit like a board game and when the penguin reached the end of the board, who ever owned that penguin would be heading home.


There is now light at the end of the tunnel so hopefully we’ll be out of this lockdown and back to some sort of normality pretty soon. I wonder how many people have a chuff chart up and running for that magical date BoJo has suggested being the end.


Spending all that saved up money

Most of the time when on deployment a lot of money is saved, especially if your other half is sent to a place where they physically can’t spend it! This means that they should have a lot more money when they get home. You may have already spent it all in your head though!


Also depending on where they’re deployed to they probably can’t just head out to expensive bars or restaurants so even more money is saved here too.


So the same can almost be said about lockdown... The reason I say ALMOST is because, yes most shops have been closed and we haven’t been able to enjoy hospitality etc either. HOWEVER click and collect and deliveries have still been happening, so we’re not all necessarily that much better off thanks to online shopping and in terms of not being able to eat out well... Hello Takeaways!


Seeing loved ones again

Lockdown has been really tough on this front and I know people have been struggling. Not being able to see friends and family (apart from over Skype or zoom) and not being able to cuddle your parents or grandparents has been rubbish hasn’t it?!


This is just normal life during a deployment though... The only way you’ll see your other half for the next few months is via video call at best. In some deployed locations that isn’t even an option.


As the end of deployment nears though, the excitement massively builds and you just know how incredible it will be when you see your loved one coming through the departure gates at Brize Norton.


Same goes for the end of lockdown, in June time (or whenever BoJo said) how good is it going to be to see and cuddle your loved ones again! You can even be within 2 meters of your best mates! It’s worth waiting for and will be here before we know it!


Getting over cabin fever

Depending on what service your other half is in depends on what accommodation they'll have when deployed. They could be in a really small cabin on a ship. They could be in a secure compound sleeping on the floor or if they’re in the RAF, they could be in a 5 star hotel.


Either way they're going to be stuck in one place, surrounded by pretty much the same people for a number of months.


I know it’s different with lockdown as there isn’t any security risk but it’s the same sort of principle, the ‘stay at home’ message has been with us for quite a while now and although we are allowed outside we haven’t been able to go far have we? So when all this is over and we can travel freely again it is going to be amazing. I cannot wait to travel down to England to see my friends and family.


Moving of the goalposts

At the start of the deployment you know roughly when they’re coming home and then as the deployment end gets closer you almost have a set date for when they’ll be home.


You might get your hopes up only to have them dashed by being told... Sorry, it looks like we’re here for another week...


This has been the theme of lockdown all the way through... Take Christmas for example. I for one was so excited to see a few people during that break but just a few days before BoJo cancelled everything.


So my words of advice would just be to not get too excited... Yes it really is massively exciting and I personally have my heart set on the end of May when we can have people indoors... My wife however keeps telling me to just chill out and not get my hopes up, as it can only get pushed further to the right. She’s always right too so...


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These are just a few comparisons, I’m sure there are many more and if you want me to add anything, let me know.


For now, thanks for taking the time to read and let’s all look ahead to the next few months. let’s get excited about life getting back to normal!

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