Week two of life on lockdown…how was it for you?

CORONAVIRUS 2020

Somehow my week flew by. I’m not entirely sure what I spent the time doing and I must confess that I didn’t follow enough of my own advice from my last blog post.   

I mainly wore grubby activewear, whilst doing a serious amount of comfort eating.  But, I did listen to Chris Evans on Virgin radio for some morning positivity, I meditated and I did make some time to sit in the sunshine.  As a family we played, we coloured and we did a LOT of junk modelling. We cooked from scratch and ate together. There was singing and dancing and laughter.  I also held our first ever Women Aloud virtual book club and despite not being together in person, I felt really lifted to once again be amongst our lovely community of women. (We’re going to do more virtual meet-ups and online talks so please do get in touch if you’d like to join us).

The week also brought shouting and tears, and I started to feel a bit angsty about having no time to myself. The fighting between the kids has ramped up. At the moment the war-wounds extend to some missing hair and a few bite marks, but I can sense the tension building.  I found my 2-year-old mischievously faking ignorance, while her sister screamed in rage at the gruesome discovery of her ‘American Doll’ almost decapitated in the bin.  Eek, bad times!  This lockdown is going to take its toll on all of us, even on overpriced dolls!

I’ve felt a bit rough this week, no temperature or problems breathing but some cold and flu like symptoms and my heart has been racing. It’s unsettled me. In the past I’d have thought nothing of it. Now I’m questioning is this the dreaded COVID19; Googling cold vs. coronavirus and should I be self-isolating away from the family just in case (I haven’t as I don’t think the husband will survive with the kids so I’ll save that for if I get a fever).  Where have I got ill from? Am I just run-down? That’s harder to justify at the moment, it’s not like I’ve been out partying every night.  I’ve been taking the vitamins, eating the rainbow and I’ve barely left the house for 2weeks. How have the germs got me?!!!!

And I’m scared about my children getting sick. Now there’s been the horrendous news that a 5-year-old has died, that poor family, it doesn’t bear thinking about. Not that I’m saying it’s OK for adults to die. It isn’t. It absolutely isn’t ok for anyone to lose their lives. But I felt safer a few weeks back when the thinking was that children weren’t being affected as much. Yet now they are getting ill, in much lower numbers I know but those little people, running carefree around me while I write this, they are more at risk than I thought and I feel anxious about it.  

It’s my 2-year-old who worries me most. Not that I’m favouring one child over another but my youngest is the one with an immuno-deficiency. She doesn’t have the antibodies to fight off infection, namely respiratory ones, so a common cold can make her really quite poorly.  There didn’t used to be a month go by without a trip to hospital.  She hasn’t been ill since February; which means she’s probably about due another episode but now is really not the time. Even if not the big CV, she cannot afford to be weak right now. Hopefully with us staying at home she’ll have less exposure to all the viruses that usually get her. Still, I can’t help but worry, which is why my husband finds himself being sprayed down with Dettol by a crazy woman whenever he returns from a run.

I know a lot of you will have similar concerns, you may be one of the high-risk group or live with someone who is vulnerable.  I’m sending positive thoughts and love to you all – and to everyone else who is scared too.  These are unprecedented times and our worries are valid.  I read the news and I want to cry for all those people lost too soon, and all the thousands that will unfortunately follow.  But I know that the mental anguish of thinking about worst case scenarios is not the place to be right now.  So, I think I’ve got to pretend to some extent that it’s not happening. Selfish I know but my sanity may depend on it. 

I need to read less news and avoid any social media that brings me down or riles me up!  If I see one more picture of people sunbathing in the park or driving to a country park for a picnic, I’m going to scream! What are they thinking?! Anne Frank managed 761 days in hiding so surely we can manage to sit on the sofa and watch TV for a few weeks?! If you could see the virus in the air, would you still go out? If you found out tomorrow that you have coronavirus, how many people have you come into contact with over the last two weeks, would you be feeling ashamed or proud?  I’m verging on over-cautious, barely going out unless I really have to (thankfully the husband is taking one for the team and braving the shops but not unless we really need something). For all of you that have to go out, for work or because you don’t have anyone to do the supermarket dash for you, well done for being brave. For those that are going out just because you can, mmmmm, maybe do us all a favour and head on back home. Thanks.

Master a new skill, start a new business or follow an unfulfilled dream – that was a helpful social media post I saw the other day…and if we don’t do any of these, then shame on us and our lack of drive and determination. Geez!  Talk about piling the pressure on.  I’ll be lucky if I manage to keep on top of the washing, let alone transform my life. However, it did get me thinking about life lessons more broadly.  What can I take away from this experience, what can I learn along the way?  Don’t fret, I’m not talking rocket science kind of life lessons, I’m talking more about those little life learnings which are usually too mundane or irrelevant when we’re busy in the real world.

Learnings like, shiny bright pink lip gloss really doesn’t suit me anymore. I’m not sure it ever did to be honest but now as I edge closer to 40 than 30, it’s definitely time to let the kids use it to tart up their dolls instead.  Another new discovery…aside from the importance of keeping permanent markers out of reach of your children, is that toothpaste actually does remove Sharpie pen from a wooden worktop, what a revelation!  Don’t worry, I’ll come back with more pearls of wisdom next time. Some of my learnings are still a work in progress…how many chocolate biscuits can I eat before my jeans no longer do up? How many days can I go before washing my hair? How long will it take before I really lose my sh*t? Can I stop swearing (very unlikely, I’m a swearer at the best of times and surely a global pandemic is a valid enough reason to swear)? Can I stay off the booze (I gave up for health reasons for one month, it’s somehow been eight months now, so this will be the ultimate test – if my kids don’t drive me back to drink at this time then I’ve got more willpower than I thought).

Another reason to limit my social media is seeing how horrible people can be to each other.  I understand we’re in a time of great stress but still I’ve been saddened by the amount of bitching that I’ve seen on social media groups, mainly women against women. I know we’re scared but getting your knickers in a twist and slagging off Sonia on Facebook is the behaviour of teenagers, and even then it’s not acceptable. Less than two months ago, we all learnt a sad lesson about the devastation that our words and actions can have.  We were reminded by the loss of Caroline Flack that above anything else, we should just BE KIND. And surely now, in this madness, we should all be supporting each other not trying to drag each other down. Please, let’s try to think before we say, or write something hurtful. Please, let’s #bekind to each other.

And finally, on the subject of kindness, I had some really lovely messages and comments about my last post. Thank you so much. It meant a lot to me. I’ll aim for a weekly life on lockdown post, until I’ve bored you!  I’ll also be back soon with more blogs sharing your stories and with advice from experts to help us through this difficult time.

Until the next time, I wish you all good health and hopeful minds.

Sending love,

Laura x

laura@womenaloud.co.uk

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