Actress Jayne Wisener lives in London with her husband, banker Wayne Austin and their son Michael, who turned one in January.
The former star of The Inbetweeners spent seven weeks in Northern Ireland earlier this year during a hit run of the Cole Porter classic Kiss Me, Kate at Belfast's Lyric Theatre.
Now spending lockdown in London, the 32-year-old says she is just leaving home to go to the supermarket for essentials, and even then she's wearing a mask.
"It's been okay," says Jayne, who grew up in Coleraine. "I think like most people some days you're great and really positive and then others you're fed up, irritated, upset, angry. But I'm fine today. Today is a good day, but the ups and downs are normal.
"You just can't dwell on it too much, because we're all going through the same thing and we just need to get on with it."
Living in the south east of the city, as fears about coronavirus started to mount in the UK in March, Jayne says she did feel nervous.
"Massively," she says. "At the start we were very worried. Wayne's office is in Canary Wharf and back then before the government enforced the lockdown we just didn't know what to do for the best, and whether he should be going in or not.
"But even before the official lockdown happened, his work decided people should work from home if they could which really helped.
"Since then, we've been trying really hard to self-isolate as much as we can but it's been pretty scary. There are so many people round here."
Luckily, says Jayne, whose film debut came in Sweeney Todd alongside Hollywood star Johnny Depp, she and her young family have some outside space.
"We're fortunate in that we live in a house with a bit of a garden," she says. "So many people around here are in flats with no outside space at all. The lovely weather has really helped but I know it would have been a lot harder if we weren't able to get outside and enjoy some sunshine."
And living in such a built-up part of the world, Jayne explains that while she tried to get out for a walk every day, the longer lockdown has continued, the less she's doing it.
"At the minute I'm sticking to the garden," she says.
"I was going out for evening walks at the start but even later in the day I found I was crossing the road all the time.
"But my job is the supermarket shop, so I'm doing that every week really because you just can't get an online delivery slot. It does make me nervous, I'll be honest, so I wear a face mask.
"London is a step up from how it is at home I think, and when it comes to going out for a walk here right from our doorstep, it's not the same as home. It's not particularly scenic and if you want to go walking somewhere really beautiful you have to drive, and you're not supposed to do that at the minute. So I'm sticking to the supermarket as my outing so I can get my much-needed wine and chocolate."
And with so many people's working lives disrupted by the global pandemic, Jayne explains that a major piece of filming she was scheduled to begin at the end of March has been shelved.
"That was really disappointing," she says. "I was all signed up to film in Italy and Spain between the end of March and June so when we started to see everything happening in Italy, it was pretty clear the job wouldn't be going ahead.
"It's so awful for so many people, and the work part is just one thing, but when you're freelance and you have a big job like that it does have an impact.
"It would have contributed a lot to my income for the year, but that's just how things have turned out."
And, says the actress, she is so busy being full-time mum to Michael that she hasn't had time to feel too upset.
"That's one thing about this situation," says Jayne, who hopes a different project in Belfast towards the end of this year will still go ahead.
"For now, I'm looking after Michael the whole time, and trying to keep him busy that I don't have time to worry too much about myself.
"Before all this we'd be out at different groups and at soft play, as much for me as for him, so keeping ourselves occupied is a challenge.
"There's a bit of Mr Tumble going on, but I try to keep TV to a minimum so I can turn to it if I really need to when I'm having a tough day. It's definitely handy then.
"Other than that, we're doing lots of reading and playing with Michael's toys out in the garden, and he has a little water table which has been lots of fun."
But with the rest of Jayne's family back home in Northern Ireland, the star admits not knowing when she'll get to see them again hasn't been easy.
"When I was home for Kiss Me, Kate, I was there for seven weeks, so saying goodbye was really hard," she says. "But at that point, we had no idea any of this was coming our way.
"I had booked to be back at the start of May so I was okay knowing I had that to look forward to, but now of course I have no idea when I'll be back again.
"I suppose even if I was in Northern Ireland, we still wouldn't get to see them because we'd all be staying away from each other, like everyone is, but back then I think if I'd known what was coming I would have hugged them and never let go."
And with officials warning of a 'new normal' even after restrictions are lifted, Jayne is hopeful that some positive changes will come.
"There was a close call with a family member who got the virus, but thankfully pulled through," says Jayne. "We have taken it really seriously throughout the whole process, but when it happens to someone you know it really hits home.
"How people can continue to be so stupid and think going out is so important is hard to understand. The economy will recover, but lives will be lost.
"I really hope when we come out of this that people will connect even better than before because we've not been able to see each other.
"The world has been so caught up in consumerism and what we've got and what we need, that we've missed what's right in front of us. If anything this has taught me that all we actually need is food in our homes, and our families to be safe. That's it."
Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is spending lockdown at home in London’s Chelsea with fiance Michael Christou, a property developer, and the couple’s dog, Apollo.
The Co Down dancer, first soloist with the Royal Ballet, says being confined to her home has been a huge adjustment from her usually non-stop schedule.
“It’s been bizarre and surreal, this completely new way of living,” says Melissa (31). “Under normal circumstances I’m used to working six days a week, with training and rehearsals, as well as multiple performances a week.
“I’m used to being on stage in front of thousands of people for my work, and now staying more or less completely within my own home, that’s all changed. Home is pretty much the entire vicinity of my being right now, and I have an audience of my fiance and the dog.”
Melissa, who grew up in Dromore, moved to England at 16 after finishing her GCSEs at Banbridge Academy to train at the Elmhurst Ballet School in Birmingham, before getting her big break at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in 2007.
She spent time training in Greece as well as two years with a dance company in Germany.
“London is home now,” she says. “But it has been strange recently. Before it all really got going we could see it coming, and part of us thought that we could maybe move out of central London and rent somewhere further out, but it didn’t happen.
“We’re lucky in that we’re close to different parks and we’re able to take the dog out for his walks, but it’s very different,” Melissa adds.
“The police are cycling around with the option to disperse people if they linger, so you can’t really relax and enjoy what relief you do have. Until this week the weather had been a real treat, but on Tuesday the heavens opened.
“We’re lucky in that we have a little terrace and a small courtyard off our bedroom.
“It’s not green and we can’t run and jump around, but at last we’re able to get some fresh air.”
And with fitness and training so central to her life, Melissa has transformed parts of her home so she can continue with intensive exercise every day.
“Where we normally train, we are used to sprung floors to protect our bones and muscles,” she says.
“But of course at home, everyone just has super hard floors, which are really far from perfect.
“What has been brilliant though is that all the Royal Ballet dancers are now working on floors delivered by Harlequin Dance Floor Co, as a donation from a Royal Ballet sponsor, Aud Jebsen. It has made a huge difference.
“I’ve been lucky as well in that I spotted a spare rail on one of Michael’s sites and we were able to borrow that and set it up so I have a proper bar to train with, rather than leaning on the kitchen table.
“I got a mirror too through one of his suppliers, so I’ve managed to organise a nice little set-up for myself. Michael is working from home using the living room as his office, and I have turned Apollo’s doggy area into a ballet studio during the day.
“The Opera House has organised Zoom and we’re doing ballet classes, as well as Pilates, yoga and strength training online most days.
“It’s full on, which is great, because that’s how we’re used to operating, although of course there has been an easing off.
“We’re training as much as we can, but the dance studies we normally rehearse in are often has big as an Opera House stage, so to go from that to the confinement of your own home is quite an adjustment.”
However, says Melissa, despite the challenges lockdown has presented there are potential upsides, too.
“Absolutely,” she says. “If you don’t look to find the positives it would make the whole thing so much more difficult.
“Me and my fiance are doing HIIT classes together, which we’ve never really had the chance to do before, and we’re enjoying some yoga together. It’s a great chance to re-evaluate, and physically to look at some niggles and figure them out.
“When you’re on ‘go’ mode, you don’t really get time to hone in on things and try to figure them out properly.
“My days are still pretty full on, but I’m getting lots more time to spend with my dog and Michael. Usually we have such heavy workloads and we do long hours, so the extra time together has been great.
“We don’t have to rush things so much and we’re spending dinner in each other’s company every night, which we just couldn’t do before. I think when we’re back to normal, everyone will be out and about as much as possible after all this.
“Coming back to Northern Ireland will be a priority to see family, because it’s not the same in the virtual world, and I’d also like to keep on going with the work the Royal Ballet School have done there.
“But for now, in this quiet time, it’s a good chance to listen and learn about ourselves in a way we can’t when all that is getting drowned out when we’re going full steam ahead. It’s a good chance to listen properly and find out what really sets your soul alight.”
Orlagh McCloskey moved to London in 2008, and it’s there, in what has become the epicentre of Britain’s coronavirus crisis, that she runs her fashion brand Rixo with best pal Henrietta Rix.
The friends, who met at London’s College of Fashion and share a love of vintage, have continued to run their business online throughout the lockdown.
Now isolating with boyfriend Brook Lomas, who works in construction, Orlagh reveals she believes she contracted Covid-19 in March — but is now back working from her London flat.
“It was a really strange experience,” says Orlagh (31). “But right back at the start of all this, when we were all still looking at the whole thing unfolding in Italy, I had a very bad fever.
“Brook was the same, and we knew really quickly that we weren’t right so I didn’t go into work and tried my best to do some work from home.
“It didn’t take long to be convinced we’d had it. I had the cough and fever, although luckily I didn’t have the chest thing that people talked about, where they felt they were struggling for breath. But I lost my sense of taste and smell completely, and that’s something I have never had before with any flu I’ve had.”
Before the outbreak, Orlagh shared her west London flat with business partner, Henrietta, and another friend but, when she began to show symptoms, Henrietta and the pals’ other flatmate moved out and have been isolating elsewhere throughout the lockdown.
“Luckily, I haven’t been on my own and Brook has been staying here,” says Orlagh, who grew up in the countryside outside Dungiven, Co Londonderry.
“I think that would have been a lot more difficult. In the middle of all this, I was supposed to be buying a house, but that has all fallen through. So many things have been disrupted.”
But when it comes to work, Orlagh is as busy as ever, albeit with different demands than usual.
A number of staff members have been furloughed and as well as carrying on with her design work, she is negotiating with producers and wholesalers, business contacts who are based right around the globe.
“We produce in China and India so, as well as the restrictions in place here in the UK, we’re trying to work around the changes there, too,” she says. “So in many ways, I’m probably busier than usual because everyday things are changing in different ways.
“We’ll find out a factory’s lockdown has been extended, or a fabric mill has been closed. There’s just a huge domino effect and it’s a lot of supply chain stuff.”
And, says Orlagh, she’s had to get creative to deal with some of the challenges.
“In some cases where particular fabric has been made that would have become a wedding outfit or something like that, we’re now having them changed into much easier-to-wear pieces to suit the new lifestyle people are living at the minute,” she says.
“All the time, we’re trying to think on our feet and be more creative.”
And with the new fashion season coming up in June, Orlagh is getting creative in how she normally works in that context, too.
“Usually, that means New York and Paris, where you do all the selling to buyers,” she explains. “But this time of course that won’t be happening. Instead, it’ll be me, muggins, behind the camera showing everyone what we’re doing.
“I wouldn’t say I’m a natural on camera by any means, but when I’m talking about the product and something I’m really interested in, then sometimes it’s hard to shut me up, so we’ll see how it goes.
“It might be a good thing, because sometimes it can be so rushed and buyers can have 30 appointments a day, so it’s tough to explain exactly what you’ve designed, how you’ve done it and why. Maybe this will turn out to be a better way to get our message across. The jury’s out.”
As well as work, Orlagh, is trying her best to enjoy some downtime during lockdown.
“There is a lot going on,” she says. “As well as all the everyday stuff with work, we’re also moving offices and I’m moving to a new place, and for a time, it was really feeling like a lot to deal with.
“Every day I was hearing this has changed, that’s changed and it was distracting me from getting on with the design and product work we were doing, so I was getting a bit stressed.
“Since then, I’ve been doing a bit of meditation every day, which has really helped. I’m doing 15 minutes, with a little app I downloaded, every morning and night.
“We don’t have a garden, but I’ve got a really nice big quilt that I got in India in January with palm trees, and honestly when I lay it out in the living room, you’d swear I was outside. It’s been a huge help.”
With her family back home in Dungiven — apart from twin sister, Gemma, who lives nearby in London — Orlagh is keeping in touch on the phone and on FaceTime.
“Gemma lives nearby and sometimes cycles past on the way to work, so I can see her out the window, but that’s about it,” says Orlagh. “And I think us being here in London was maybe a bit worrying for my family because it seems so much worse than at home.
“But the fact I’ve already had it is reassuring. I know I wasn’t tested, but with all the symptoms, I’m pretty sure I did. I think a lot of people here have been affected.
“I was home just before the lockdown, so I’m glad that at least I saw everyone not too long ago, and we’re in touch a lot on FaceTime. I speak to my mum all the time.
“It’s a hard time for everyone, but hopefully when we come out the other side of it, we’ll really appreciate everything we’ve got even more than we did. When I move to my new place, I’ll be five minutes from Gemma, and hopefully if the government eases the restrictions a little bit more, we might be able to socialise in small groups.
“That would be amazing, even something as simple as being able to see each other out in the garden. That would suit me right down to the ground.”
Former BBC News anchor Maxine Mawhinney has been keeping busy with gardening during her lockdown. The 62-year-old Belfast mum of two grown-up daughters, who lives in the Cotswolds with her husband John, says the uncertainty of life at the moment is at times “overwhelming”.
“I’m usually really busy with work, family and friends,” she says. “Lockdown has forced me to slow down and I am really surprised at how I like the slower pace. I’ve made a vegetable garden, including painting an old bath red to use as a planter. My flowerbeds are looking great and the grass is cut.
“I take time preparing meals — but, no, I haven’t started to make bread. We walk and enjoy the countryside and in our little hamlet of five houses we all help each other from a distance — a bit like being back home where there is always an offer of help if you need it.
“There have been moments when I’ve felt overwhelmed by it as many others have. The uncertainty of life at the moment is scary. I’ve started to have very vivid dreams, as have others I know.
“As someone who has worked in the 24-hour news environment where everything is in a hurry, I’ve realised I was living my life like that. Lockdown has really made me think about stopping more and taking time.
“I think that after this is all over my life will change for the better. Not being able to be with family and friends has really put even more into perspective how important those relationships are.
“I’ve always been a big family person but now I will hold them even closer.”
Maxine says that as far as travelling goes, she’ll go to where her family are for much-longed-for reunions.
“As a journalist I’m used to hopping on and off planes as if they were buses,” she says. “Now I’m not so keen. Firstly, because of the difference lack of planes in the air is making to the climate, and secondly, I would be uneasy being on a plane while the virus is still out there.
“The only thing is, my eldest daughter lives in Sydney and I was due to be there at Easter, which of course had to be cancelled. I now don’t know when I will see her in person again.
“The first place I’m going when restrictions are lifted is straight down the road to hug my three little grandchildren who are seven, three and 11 months.
“They live 10 minutes away so it’s agony not being able to touch them. I have been doing window visits where we all touch hands through the glass.
“Next I will get myself to Donaghadee to visit my family, especially my 83-year-old mother, who is shielding. My sister has been doing an amazing job caring for her. We have been meeting for coffee on WhatsApp and I speak to her every day.
“She is incredible in the way in which she is handling this. She always has a cheery outlook and has lots of tales to make us laugh. She popped up on WhatsApp wearing a hairband as she can’t get her hair cut and she was very conscious of it as she likes her hair to be nice and does her own make-up every day. She didn’t realise that she looked fabulous.
“I miss my family. We take for granted being able to pop in and see them. When you can’t it reinforces just how important it is. We moved out of London to the Cotswolds to be near our grandchildren so our lockdown is a very different experience.
“I don’t miss London at all, probably because where I live now is like Northern Ireland with open spaces and green fields. I filled my car up just before lockdown and it’s still almost full. I use it for a weekly trip to our local shop, two miles away, for food. Otherwise we walk. So, I’m not missing driving, either.”
Maxine says because of the pandemic, her bucket list has been forgotten.
“My bucket list was mostly travel,” she says. “Now I’m not so sure. I’ve been very fortunate to have travelled all over the world with my job. All I really want now is for everyone to be safe and well through the crisis and come out the other side. I know a few people whose families have been touched by Covid-19 and it is devastating.
“The NHS has been truly amazing in being there for us all should we need it. A bucket list is not important any more.
“I have learned a lot during this time. Watching what the NHS and carers are doing is humbling and as a society we need to respect them more and pay them properly.
“Watching the country coming together for the clapping every Thursday has been uplifting.
“My village has come together to care for each other. People can be so kind and compassionate. I have learned a lot about myself in that it is okay to slow down. That’s what I will be doing.”
Maxine has been documenting her gardening adventures on her Instagram account @Maxfromthecity