I walk my two elderly dogs every day – it’s a very slow walk, smelling most every lamp pole, mound of leaves, molehill, and, especially, bunny burrows and other-dog-tracks.

Every bad brings some good, and, for me, the good that #LockdownLife Level 4 brought was the number of people on the streets, exercising, on a Saturday and Sunday morning. The regulation was pretty daft, I know – we all had to be back in our homes by 9 am, so we were all out in the fresh air at the same time.

It was like stepping into a movie scene, where communities comprise happy families, walking together, talking together, taking their dogs and themselves for a walk.

I met Beryl the basset hound. And the couple with a St Bernard and a Yorkie. Countless Jack Russells. Young children were in prams or on bicycles. Teenagers were running or cycling, often with their parents or grandparents. Everyone said “Morning” or “Hello” to everyone else. I saw people I know, but didn’t recognize because they had masks on. We stood at a distance and chatted. Everyone smiled. In most cases we could only see the eyes smiling, but the energy was bright and positive. It was almost surreal.

I love that we actually can be those people.

Morning walks are more normal now. Few people on the road early when we’re out. I suppose they’re going later because they can under Level 3 #LockdownLife. I found myself singing this morning (very softly of course), “Where have all the families gone? Lockdown passing. Where have all the puppies gone. Lockdown 3. Where have all the smiles gone…” – to the tune of “Where have all the flowers gone?”

There are still smiles and greetings though. There’s still a sense of camaraderie and friendship.

I so hope that we will take this community spirit with us into post-COVID life.