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A whisky expert has been living in self-imposed lockdown out of fear of losing his sense of smell if he caught Covid-19.
Blair Bowman went into his own 'lockdown' a couple of weeks before it was imposed in March 2020.
The expert, 31, previously travelled the world including Malaysia, Greece, Norway, Turkey and Spain, for the exciting role which included business dinners and lunches.
But for nearly two years Blair and his partner have lived in a 'bubble' in their home in Edinburgh, only leaving their home for walks and trips to pick up grocery shopping via a click and collect service.
One of the symptoms associated with coronavirus has been patients losing their senses of smell and taste.
While lockdown seemed like hell for most of the UK, this self-employed whisky broker says it's the most content he's ever been.
He also said that working from home does not impact his job specialising in sourcing old and rare casks and bottles.
Blair said: "We've both been in this little bubble since the start and made a decision early on to wait for things to blow over.
"For me the loss of sense of taste and smell was so important and quite a hard-hitting thing that made me decide to be more cautious.
“About 40% of how we experience the world is taste and smell, I’d really miss being able to taste a nice coffee.
“It’s less about my job and more about how I’d enjoy life. There is no point in even drinking whisky because people have told me they can only experience the texture of it and not the flavours.
“It looks like a large number of people do recover their sense of smell and that gives me a lot of hope."
Last summer when Covid was at its lowest levels since the beginning of the pandemic Blair would get takeaway coffees and meet people at a distance outdoors.
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When numbers began to rise the couple went back into 'lockdown'.
Blair added: "Last year I would occasionally get a takeaway coffee – but I would shout my order, they'd pop it on the counter and I would run and grab it and take it away.
"I wouldn't go anywhere with a queue.
"It was a big part of my life pre-pandemic – having dinners and long lunches with prospective clients.
"I used to never work from home, I would work in hotels or restaurants or in the corner of a cafe.
"I miss all of that."
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He said his business has done better with fewer overheads – and he is enjoying life more, in anticipation that he will at some point feel ready to travel again.
But he still keeps track of statistics and research to help him determine what he is confident doing, but has yet to socialise indoors.
He added: “There is always going to be risk, there are always risks in life.
“But we know how high the risks are. Looking at the statistics and research helps keep you safe. It is very far from being gone and that is the thing keeping me away."
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