The nation went into coronavirus lockdown on March 23, 2020.
Now 10 months later, we remain confined to our homes. Back in May, our photographers rang the doorbells of people across Angus to document how they were coping and illustrate lockdown in pictures.
People were cautiously optimistic; lockdown appeared to be working to suppress the virus.
The summer passed by in a blur, followed by Halloween and the festive season.
Suddenly it was January again, complete with its trademark icy cold days and long, dark nights.
And the Scottish Government reinstated lockdown restrictions.
So our photographers revisited the neighbours they had taken snaps of in May to find out how things were going second time around as they stay at home.
Now pulled together in one collection, these portraits of residents from across the region capture a community united in isolation.
Poppy Stephenson is four years old and lives with her mum, dad and older brother in Monikie.
“I miss playing with my best friends,” Poppy said, “but they don’t live in the village so I can’t see them just now.”
“Poppy doesn’t like being cooped up all day,” said her mum Caroline. “She keeps asking if she can go out and play with such-and-such and I have to tell her no. Other than that she has coped brilliantly. On her birthday she dressed up as Anna from Disney’s Frozen and we delivered party bags to her friends’ doorsteps. She was thrilled to see them again.”
Dawn and Graham Allan are both 56 years old and live with their cat, Zambini, in Newport.
“We’ve been focussing on keeping as fit and healthy as we can,” said Dawn. “Usually we are at the gym every day, and so during the first lockdown we were out cycling all the time. We recently bought a Peloton (indoor exercise bike) which has been brilliant. It teaches you yoga and all sorts. I’ve started doing poetry too, though not on the bike.”
Emma, 51, and Roy Hann, 50, live with nine of their 13 children in Dundee.
“It’s been really hard,” said Emma. “We are scraping by covering bills at the moment as the café we own is closed. At home the wifi can’t handle it when all the kids are doing home-schooling at once. They are all on Microsoft Teams calls all the time. Meg, who is five, (pictured in Roy’s arms) says; ‘Mum, I have a call at five o’clock,’ which cracks me up, she just wants to feel involved.”
Barrie Calder is 60 years old and lives with his wife in Edzell.
“I’m a key worker, so I’ve just been going to work as normal,” Barrie said. “I work for a company which makes ventolin which is a medicine used to treat asthma. It works by opening up the airways in the lungs. The World Health Organisation asked makers to up their production as it might help in treating the coronavirus, so we’ve been really busy.”
Natalie Jarvis, 32, lives with her husband and daughters Taylor, 12, and Darcy, six, in Dairsie.
“I work in the shop across the road and it was pandemonium over Christmas,” said Natalie. “It’s quieter now it’s January but the kids are starting to struggle. It’s so dark and cold, they just can’t go out. It was Darcy’s birthday recently and we had a pamper day with facemasks, a foot spa and birthday cake. I got some balloons too. Anything to make the day a bit different from the rest.”
Catherine, 60, and Jack Forbes, 64, live in Johnshaven with their dog, Mussell.
“I was furloughed initially then made redundant in July,” said Jack. “Sadly at my age I’m not at the top of the list when it comes to hiring.” Catherine said: “Our daughters have horses so we’ve been focusing on looking after them and mucking them out while the girls are at work. We are fortunate to have essential things like that to get us out of the house, otherwise I worry it would be very easy to feel isolated at home.”
Lindsey Wilson is 52 and lives with her partner above their pub in Kirriemuir.
“I’ve been furloughed since March but lockdown hasn’t been boring for me this time around,” Lindsey said. “In November my partner and I managed to buy my dad’s old pub so he could retire. We haven’t been pulling any pints because of the restrictions obviously, but have turned it into the Kirriemuir Food Hub where we have been trying to combat food poverty and food waste. Toilet rolls, shower gel, kids lunches – whatever people might need to get through the week. I worked in the corporate world for so long it’s been nice to feel like I am helping people. It’s given me a purpose and something to get up for.”
Jackie Handy is 51 and lives with his wife in Dundee.
“It’s getting pretty boring now,” said Jackie. “I’ve been furloughed the last few months. I’ve been keeping busy redecorating the house but now everything has been sort of done. That’s how the Oor Wullie characters (which he painted on his garden fence) came about. I always liked art and won a few competitions in Dundee back in the day. I think I’m going to make a start on The Broons on my other fence. The kids love ‘em.”
James Pirie is 70 years old and runs the James Pirie & Son butcher shop in Newtyle.
“My father was the oldest working butcher in the UK,” said James. “He was 87. He could never have imagined the ways we have had to adapt the business in 2020. I even started putting offers on our Facebook to get people in and we’ve been seeing lots of new faces through the door. The way people are shopping has changed, buying good quality and buying local is becoming more important.”
Have you seen our new vaccine tracker? You can track the progress of the vaccine rollout and it features a collection of daily updated charts and maps to track the coronavirus crisis in Scotland.