Lockdown Voices – a project to give voice to people

The pandemic has changed our life completely. We had to get used to staying at home all day, going out as little as possible, only for emergencies. Children and students have to follow lessons from their bedrooms. People, who used to take the train every day to go to work, now have to work from home in their living room: this is a new reality that we couldn’t even imagine. 

The lockdown has affected everyone’s life and has led to serious consequences, not only in economic terms but also in people’s health and psychology. 

During the UK’s first lockdown, University of East Anglia researchers launched a project to track the nation’s health through the lockdown. Their goal was to understand how it would impact people’s physical and mental health. 

They asked the participants to keep daily records on their lifestyle behavior such as diet, sleep, smoking, physical activity, drinking. The results revealed that people were eating less fruit and veg, getting less physical exercise, and drinking more alcohol.  

Then, many participants were interviewed about their lockdown experiences, giving life to Lockdown Voices, an oral histories project that tells people’s stories through recordings from their interviews. Listening to those recordings, everyone can identify and feel the same emotions because we all have experienced the same situation, for better or worse: Julie “lost all sense of purpose”; retired Geoff took up new hobbies; for Lauren, a university student, life “slowed down”; mum Gemma had to “fight a battle” each day working from home and taking care of her children. 

Here you can hear their full stories:  https://stories.uea.ac.uk/lockdown-voices/.

However, these are not just their stories. These are everyone’s stories. Every person has felt this way at least once during this difficult time since the pandemic and the lockdown have inevitably influenced people’s mental and physical state.


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