I’ve been pretty positive in recent months since the UK went into lockdown. with the Coronavirus. In fact, I embraced it as much as one could. I managed to spend some much needed time with my children, doing all sorts of fabulous things. We went for walks and appreciated our local area, we made things, we painted rainbows. We had fun choosing little gifts to send to our family and friends and made cards for people in care homes. While the children missed school and we missed seeing our family, we made the best of it.
The whole world seemed a little brighter as well, despite the horrific infection and death rate. We were out every Thursday evening, clapping for the NHS. People were setting up community groups to help each other out. It almost felt like there was a little bit of good coming out of the whole shit show.
And now? Well, it just feels bleak.
I write this just hours after Boris Johnson announced the tightening of some measures in England. While these new laws don’t apply to us in Wales just yet – although I imagine we will be doing the same very soon – it shows just how this horrible virus doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. And, like probably everyone, I feeling more than a little despondent.
I know why we are doing it and I think I agree with it. I don’t blame the government or politicians for not getting it right all of the time. I think it must be incredibly difficult trying to work out what is best for the county when you weigh up the immediate effects of coronavirus and the long term effects on society, education, the economy, and healthcare. It’s a completely unprecedented situation, and I am happy to listen to whatever the scientists and governments are saying at that time. I wear masks when I go to the shops, even though they are not mandatory in Wales, and I have stuck to the rules as far as I know ever since they were introduced in March.
However, as new measures are introduced and further restrictions are likely, I’m feeling sad. Really sad.
I’ve spent the last couple of years in a bit of fug. I hadn’t realized it (or had, but didn’t want to admit it to myself or anyone else) that my mental health was pretty shocking. In January, I took myself to the doctors and came away with an OCD diagnosis. Within weeks of starting my medication, I was feeling great. I was taking Elizabeth to playgroups, going out with friends, and enjoying life. And then, lockdown.
We made it through the peak of it and things gradually began to lift. I got to see my family and friends again. We had the freedom to go out and about and make the most of the summer. I was apprehensive about school, but looking forward to returning to some sort of normal.
We managed two days. Then, as we always do when we have a cold, Harrison and I developed a cough. Of course, at the moment, no one can go to school or work if they develop a new, persistent cough until they test negative for coronavirus. So, all of us went into self-isolation for a few days until we got the results. Not being able to go out, even just to the shop to get milk or for a walk around the park felt like torture.
It’s looking highly unlikely now that I will get to see my parents or my brothers and their families before Christmas now, if at all this side of the new year. My new nephew was born in August, and we were supposed to be seeing him in October. I have no idea when I will get to meet him.
I feel sad about all the normal things we are missing, and are going to miss. I miss standing in the playground after school having a chat with my friends. Now, with staggered pick-up times and social distancing, it’s more of a quick nod and wave. I miss the playgroups and library visits that both Elizabeth and I enjoyed so much. As Christmas starts to come closer, the thought of no Christmas parties and fun days for the kids, visits to Santa and the theatre, and all of the other lovely stuff everyone does in the run-up not happening make me want to cry.
Normal stuff, stuff that we took for granted up until the beginning this year. Aside from the fact that so many people have lost their lives or will live with the effects of this illness, we have all missed out on so much. How much more are we going to have to miss out on or lose because of this damn virus?