Day 1- Monday 23rd March 2020 LOCKDOWN DIARY
Last night we moved in with my MIL as we are having some renovations done and will be without water and a bathroom for some time. I don’t mind, I lived with her for 8 years before we bought our own home. I know some people think “How do you do that?” but I really get on with Rory’s mum, and she has always been a cheerleader in our relationship.
I woke at my usual time of 7am but as no school run with the schools closing on Friday, my daughter and I relaxed for a while in bed and had a laugh at some TikTok videos.
The UK is still not in full lockdown and have been given the guidelines to stay at home and wash hand regularly, but no one is really listening. – I am still going in to work; I can’t work from home. I am working in emergency social care/social work, and we are deemed, key workers. Providing support for the most vulnerable people of Edinburgh outwith office hours. It’s not something I could do from home for a wide range of reasons, and I am happy to continue going in.
My husband is now working from home during the day, so I’m grateful we are at his mum’s just now; she has a large house so he has a space he can use for work and not be driven mad but us and vice versa.
I finally get up and go for a run. I started running last year, and it was a massive game-changer for helping boost my mood, so I am keen to keep doing this for as long as I can. I noticed lots of people out, fellow runner, dog walkers and shoppers…actually seems like more people than usual. The run was short but did what I needed it to do as I was bouncing with energy when I returned home. I put the tunes on and danced around the garden like a Lady Gaga tribute act (I want to be her!) with my daughter.
I shower, do my makeup and hair (standard) and then head down to make a healthy breakfast/lunch for the family. It’s a rare event us all sitting around the table eating lunch together, Rory and I are often the ships in the night. Tag teaming each other as one comes in from work and the other heads out. The kids love it, it feels like a holiday to them. Having both mummy, daddy and even Lola (Filipino for gran) all at once feels like Christmas!
Cora is anxious about the whole virus. Her hands are sore with the constant washing, and she is very reluctant to even venture outside into the garden, poor wee toot. Seems like she has my anxious tendencies. Cassius has no idea and keeps living his best, wild life.
I keep my routine and go for a nap when Cassius’s goes, though who are regular readers will know I love asleep and do this almost daily…not even sorry!
I stay at home for longer today as I don’t plan on flouting the advice and going for my usual wander around the city centre before work.
I drive to work, listening to Radio 2. It’s a strange mood as I am entirely aware of the global panic that we are all facing. Still, the UK seems to be sticking to the very British mindset of keep calm and carry on, making it hard to see any real danger. My mind is forever arguing about it all. One side trying to take in all the information and facts and the other continuing to tell me (say in a Ross Geller voice) “It’s fine”!
Work is eerily quiet, we are a “make safe” service, and our work tends to be here and now, so if the phones isn’t ringing, it can be a long night. I spend the quiet times checking the news, and it looks like Boris is about to announce stricter measures.
We all gather around the desk (not too close, social distancing and all that) and watch as Boris tells us that we must stay at home and only go out when needed. It somehow still feels like a suggestion, I mean shops and pubs will be closed, but he isn’t telling us that we will be fined or arrested if we break the rules…I feel more confused than ever, and the chat is triggering my anxiety.
My friend lives in Rome, they are now 7 weeks into a law ordered lockdown. My friend will be fined 3000 euros if she travels more than 400 meters from her home, she can go get food but will be arrested or fined if she goes too often. She is literally not allowed to leave her house! If you would like to read her blog you can HERE
Boris’s chat didn’t seem too sure like he’s really not wanting to say it and hoping the UK will use their common sense, so far we have shown none.
My health anxiety is high, I have talked before about how I often become panicked that I can’t keep my family “safe”. I mean, I can keep them inside, and I can follow the guidelines but if others aren’t then my attempts are useless. I don’t want to be the reason someone gets sick, I don’t want to be the reason someone dies. My husband says this thought is crazy, but it feels genuine just now, it’s like my anxiety has been training me up for this day – the day the World around me gets sick and goes into lockdown. I can do nothing to control it.
My first instance of severe health anxiety happened in 2016, Cora got sick on a little trip up to Dundee to see my sister.
I was frantic. I couldn’t stop asking Cora if she was “ok?” or looking up sites on the internet on how to tell if your child was very sick.
I was in full-on panic mode, it didn’t matter that she was now fine. I kept telling myself she was ill. This has never stopped.
When I first heard about the new coronavirus, I was at work. On those quieter nights, I get time to read the news.
While 95% of it was Brexit-related — it was Jan. 30 — a bit was about the emerging outbreak in China.
I read over the words, compared it to the flu, and I went to sleep, feeling not all that worried.
Coming from someone with health anxiety, that was huge.
But as the days, weeks pasted, the World has declared the virus we now know as COVID-19 a pandemic. I have watched as whole countries go into lockdown.
A lot of us are used to being alone, but there’s a new aspect of WTF-ery when you don’t have a choice. I often isolate myself when my anxiety is terrible, preferring to stay in my “safe” home over venturing out. Its become my haven, and I’m lucky, I like my own company.
Many mental health problems are perpetuated by being alone, too, which means self-isolation can be dangerous for those of us prone to depression. Still, Im an introvert and the idea of staying at home is a dream to me.
The thing is, everybody needs a connection to other people though, even me.
After spending a lot of my young adulthood in the sea of depression that left me imposing my own lockdown, I still had some fantastic friends. These friends not only opened my eyes to the fact most of us are dealing with some kind of mental illness than not. They also offer me a support system in times of need, with, I hope the same given in return.
I have to tell myself it’s not the end of the World (oh God, I hope not). There are lots of things I can do to occupy my mind while I’m in isolation and to stop me overthinking every little detail regarding Covid-19.
I head to bed, unable to switch off- I download Audible and start listening to Harry Potter. Harry was always my escapism in times of stress, and it looks like me and Harry will be getting friendly again.
Namasta inside, Bitches