I wrote this post on May 9. Since then (June 6), lockdown has eased a little and we can now meet others outside. I met Simon for a walk half way between our two counties and my friend Caroline for a ‘social distanced’ cup of tea in her garden.
The worst thing for me personally are the negative feelings. Thankfully, these are always temporary and don’t last long, my wellbeing is generally okay, but I am aware that the pandemic and lockdown must be affecting many people in so many adverse ways.
If you’re suffering from mental illness and need help, please look up a mental health charity/services based in the country you live in and get in touch with them for advice. (For the UK, there’s https://www.mind.org.uk)
May 9: Many of us around the world will be going through a weird dystopian phase right now thanks to a virus. In Britain, we are currently in lockdown, it has been called a ‘soft’ one as we are allowed out for exercise.
Even though this is supposedly ‘soft’, this is affecting people badly in so many ways.
In Britain we have a slogan – Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives. I am working from home but for broadband reasons I work from my parents’ house. We are effectively two reclusive households (living two miles apart) behaving as one.
I go to the small Tesco convenience supermarket about 8pm, it’s quieter then. I have walked the family dogs, Teddy and Molly, in quiet country lanes and in suburban settings, moving away from passers-by – and they from me – as if we all have the plague.
I haven’t seen my partner Simon for nearly two months. A long-distance relationship of ten years, we usually meet every three weeks. I think, hope, we can survive this uncertainty as a couple.
I stay in touch with friends via texts and messages. Maybe I will get the hang of video hangouts one day.
I spend my weekdays working and my weekends with my animals, reading through my To Be Read list, working through a course and writing. There is the decluttering which I keep putting off but needs doing as well…
At night, I have started having wistful dreams of visiting secondhand book shops and going for a swim. Choosing a gym.
I am having flashbacks of previous weekends away and holidays, days out and meeting friends and family. The fear of climbing down Helvellyn and other mountains (and the exhilaration afterwards) and the simple pleasure of a pot of tea in a village cafe or browsing in a book shop for an hour.
I miss seeing Simon and my friends.
Having the freedom to go places without stressing about social distance or ‘is this even allowed?’
I’ve worked in a precarious industry for years so job uncertainty has always been the background for me – but I always thought if and when I got made redundant, there would be other jobs, other opportunities.
Now I’m not so sure.
Seeing my parents, being around my animals, keeping in touch via technology, nature, reading and writing keeps me going. Being an introvert and happy in my own company helps.
But this is only my story, how are others faring? So far, this virus and the lockdown hasn’t touched me too badly compared to others. Others have died, lost loved ones, lost jobs or businesses… This pandemic will hurt many of us in some way.
The irony is that I felt last year went too fast, I wanted it to slow down. 2020? I can’t wait for it to be over and normality to return.