Living through lockdown with pets


By Gary Robottom, Campaign Manager, General Insurance at Bupa.

Staying home for the past month or two has been for the greater good – protecting our health system and our community’s most vulnerable members. But that’s not to say the social distancing practices haven’t been without their challenges.

From the big things, like juggling workdays with home-schooling duties, to the smaller stuff like morning coffee routines, we’ve all had to quickly adjust to a new way of living within our homes’ four walls.

Yet amongst all this chaos, I’ve discovered a silver lining to the lockdown – and it’s come in the form of a furry cat named Jack.

My partner’s been speaking about us getting a pet for years, but I’d always find an excuse to shut down the idea by arguing that – between work and travel – we didn’t have time for one. But then COVID-19 hit and suddenly I had nothing but spare time to spend at home.

It didn’t take us long to find five-month-old Jack on a rescue pet website, and since arriving on Good Friday, he’s been doing a great job at keeping my partner and I entertained – even if that’s sometimes involved him clawing the side of the couch.

Jack’s also taught me some valuable lessons during this challenging time.

  1. Don’t let stress consume you

It’s always important to show pets affection, but even more so during those times when you’re consumed with stress. Focusing your energy on your furry friend with a cuddle, a walk or even a little chat can help shift your focus away from social media, work hassles – even the general moodiness that comes with being cooped up at home.

  1. Remember that pets are part of your family too

Regardless of whether you’re a human or an animal, healthcare is healthcare and every living being has the right to receive medical attention when they need it. This means having your pet insurance sorted, looking after any nicks and niggles, and caring for their teeth. Having a pet isn’t just a reason to get back onto Instagram, but it's also an exercise in responsibility.

  1. Get excited about the years ahead

While you may have decided to get a pet during a pandemic, it’s important to remember you’re in it for the long haul. When this difficult time finally passes, don’t view it as your chance to revert to your pet-free life. See it as an opportunity to enjoy your pet’s companionship in a post-COVID-19 world.

While the uncertainly and loss of routine that’s come with the lockdown may continue, Jack, like all pets, keeps adding a welcome and familiar presence around the house. Thanks Jack!

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