Lockdown Fakenham | Zine
The UK was put into lockdown on 23 March 2020 in response to the rapid acceleration of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) virus in the country.
At no time in living memory have the liberties and freedoms of British people in their own country been curtailed so severely. There were only four reasons to leave home: shopping for basic necessities, to participate in one form of exercise a day, for medical needs or to provide care help for a vulnerable person, and to travel to work – but only if necessary and if you were unable to work from home. The police were given the power to fine people if they left their homes for any other reason. Schools, pubs, and restaurants were closed indefinitely. All entertainment venues were closed down and all sport stopped. Places of worship were closed.
Fakenham felt the cumulative human, economic and social impacts of the lockdown as acutely as any other small town. The 800 year old market closed, family members were separated from each other, children were home educated, people worked from home, the town centre became deserted, almost all retail outlets (apart from essential services) were closed, and people began to wear masks and to purposely keep a safe distance from each other.
At the same time, though, there were more people out deliberately exercising, there was a growth of community spirit, businesses went above and beyond to adapt their practices to meet their customers needs, and to meet the shortages in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) experienced by the NHS and care services by helping to manufacture, for example, hand sanitiser.
This photo essay, made during the months of March, April, and May 2020, seeks to capture elements of the situation in Fakenham during lockdown. The scope is not exhaustive by any means, but the images do, I hope, show the shock and fear felt by people at what was happening, as well as their enormous practicality, resilience, and good humour.