Derby man spent 15 months stranded in Amsterdam due to lockdown
A Derby-born resident who traveled the world growing up shared his experiences of the pandemic after being forced to stay in Amsterdam for 15 months.
Tudor Lomas, a former journalist, used his instincts to track the initial spread of Covid-19 from China to Italy and watched events unfold.
When the government announced its initial lockdown in March 2020, Tudor was forced to choose between returning to Derby or staying in Amsterdam with his girlfriend.
15 months later, they both remained in the Netherlands, distancing themselves from everyone around them to ensure their safety.
Tudor said: “When the virus hit, the choice was Agard Street or Amsterdam.
“In the end, it was easy, because we were in my Dutch girlfriend’s apartment when we realized we had to confine ourselves, because of her asthma.
“Fifteen months later we were still there, totally isolated apart from 10,000 very careful and socially distant steps a day along the IJ River, obsessed with trying to stay fit, healthy and alive. .
“Staying in one place was a shock, in many ways it was the strangest trip of my life.”
Tudor and his girlfriend documented their progress in uncovering the threat of the virus before it properly became apparent to the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, Tudor is adamant that he never abandoned the people of his hometown and kept them in his thoughts throughout his absence.
He said: “I did not desert my hometown.
“At first I would check in with parents weekly, keep in touch with friends, try to find ways to help our pub and support one or two big groups and they seem to have survived.
“I can’t wait to take a pint in The Golden Eagle, to the earthy blues sounds of Doublecross, rather than listening to an old CD in Amsterdam.
“We quite enjoyed the chance to take stock, to rearrange things, and to make sense of the only pandemic we’ve known.”
Now Tudor has written a book describing his experiences with the pandemic, including stories from the time and links to what was happening around the world.
The book, titled “Just Drink Bleach, Survive a Year of Covid, Lockdown, and Fake News,” details Tudor’s take on the events unfolding around him and how it affected his daily life and routine.
He explains how he thinks the book has helped him cope with “incarceration” blockades nationwide.
“A lot of people have used the time to write a book. I had four reasons, ”he said.
“At first I created a spreadsheet, recording links to interesting stories and developments, over 600 of them.
“Second, I focus on the three challenges of the book’s title, surviving Covid, the lockdown, and fake news, and show links to Trump’s exhortation to ‘just drink bleach.’
“Third, I took the opportunity to contact friends around the world to see how the virus had changed their lives.
“A few had deceased relatives, some were damaged psychologically and financially, but most developed a new relationship with the world.
“Finally, I wrote the book for my newborn grandson, whom I only met once, early last year when he was only four months old.
“I thought he might like to know what the world was like in the first two years of his life, how he had changed for all of us and how it had changed us.
“I give a lot of real-life examples of our restricted daily life and how we got the most out of things. “
Tudor Lomas’ book is available for purchase online now.
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