My anxiety has been affecting me this past week or so and i initially struggled to understand why it wasn’t going away. And then i realised. I am very nervous about coming out of lockdown.
Here in the UK the lockdown is gradually easing. Schools are back, upto 6 people can meet up and from next week shops, pubs, gymns and lots of other things are free to open up. It sounds great but are we ready ?
Twelve months in some form of incarceration has taken a toll. Apart from family i haven’t spoken to another adult since December, 5 months ago. And while winter has been harsh and lonely there is a large element of that isolation that made me feel safe and secure. The Government regularly reassured me life would be OK and the vaccine gave us life saving protection. Slowly and surely i became cocooned in the safety of my home, the covid free environment that kept me alive. So safe has this past year felt i am now scared to go back outside.
As strange as it sounds I am scared about seeing people again. Not because i could get infected but because social interaction will take confidence that i have lost in the past 12 months. I feel like a prisoner due for release after a long sentence. Nervous about what is out there. Scared of leaving the safety and security of isolation.
The thought of seeing crowds in parks, busy high streets and general normality just doesnt seem right anymore. I have got used to watching sport played without crowds accompanied by recorded sounds of supporters. I have got used to lack of physical contact, used to not talking, used to my own company, used to keeping at least 6 feet away from other people, used to watching too much tv and drinking too much alcohol, used to sleeping far more than i should and most worrying of all i have got used to isolation. Spectating on life rather than participating.
I think these are feelings a lot of people are going to suffer. I hope the experts are ready. Adjusting to freedom is going to take as much energy and strength as it took to accept lockdown in the first place.