Darker months ahead

Here in the UK, coronavirus cases are rapidly increasing again, and as a result it was announced last night that more restrictive measures will have to come into play once more. I was talking about it this morning with my partner as I tried to choke down my anxiety with my coffee and get off my arse and into work.

Quite honestly, I’m struggling. When we went into lockdown in March, we all retreated to our homes, closed the doors and waited. Together. Collectively, we battened down the hatches, and we waited – some with more good grace and patience than others. Both my partner and I are counted as key workers as he writes and maintains software for food production, and I work in education, but for six months we both carried on doing our jobs full time at home. My stepchildren were also with us (as well as my first born, the cat) and although there were moments of frustration at not being able to get out and about quite so much, and I missed seeing my parents, for the most part, in our home at least, it was a pretty happy time. It was safe. My panic attacks and anxiety dwindled to almost nothing – a revelation in my adult life.

This week, I had finally reached a place where, on Monday and Tuesday this week, I managed to regulate my fear at going out of the house all day and being surrounded by people to the point where I wasn’t actually in tears before going out to the car. And now it’s Wednesday, and although we are back up to high alert and there are stricter penalties and rules, my working situation will remain as is: I need to be on campus every day. In theory I’m in quite a low risk setup as I’m in a static office, but fear isn’t rational or easily reasoned with. I know I’m far, far lower risk than frontline health and care workers, teachers and PAs. I am in constant awe at the stoic, steady courage in the face of a threat still largely unknown. I’m still scared, though.

I am planning to look at an online circle in the next few weeks, so watch this space. Time to light the fire and scare the horrors away ­čÖé