Toby Young Toby Young

What I’ll miss most in Lockdown II

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A second lockdown won’t cause me much suffering. I don’t have a shop selling ‘non-essential’ goods (e.g. books) that will go out of business. As a freelance journalist, I’m not at risk of losing my job. I don’t have a life-threatening disease so I’m not going to die because my local hospital won’t admit me. I have only one elderly relative and she’s in our family’s ‘support bubble’.

My biggest worry is that schools will close again, not least because one of my children is doing her A-levels next year and another his GCSEs. Boris has absolutely, categorically ruled that out so I give it about another week before he does a U-turn. But I’m probably better off than 95 per cent of the population.

When I see the fans converging on Loftus Road on a Saturday afternoon my heart lifts

The one thing I will really miss, though, is going to the football, which I had naively thought might be possible again this year. I even bought two season tickets to my beloved QPR — one for me, one for my 12-year-old son, Charlie — and nonchalantly ignored the deadline for applying for a refund. At one point, the club announced that a few hundred fans would be allowed into the ground and Charlie and I eagerly put our names in the hat, only for the offer to be withdrawn when the ‘rule of six’ was introduced.

The next best thing was going to the stadium’s posh restaurant on match day — which the club made possible for the first time last Saturday. But it was £60 a head and we were told we wouldn’t be able to go over to the window to look out over the pitch. We would have to make do with a big screen. That sounded even more frustrating than watching the match at home, knowing the ground is only a mile away.

I hadn’t realised how much I valued the weekly ritual.

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