Yesterday, my little vlog touching on how I was feeling about re-entry into some aspects of real life, and the incremental reduction of restrictions was just a few thoughts that I wanted to talk about.

Today, as we’re learning and seeing more about what we have in store for the coming weeks, that low-level anxiety I mused about, has somehow manifested into a monster.

I think that my overall nervousness and anxiety about COVID-19 has been managed and manageable (albeit with an occasional meltdown). Perhaps that is because I started limiting my interactions early, working from home before lockdowns were announced. I was ahead of the curve (bloody curves – it’s all about curves!) when it came to minimising contact and outings. In fact, after I got back from Madrid back at the end of February, social engagements and general being out and about were really quite scarce.

This sense of control seemed to really help me. I felt confident that I was doing all I could to reduce my risk significantly. And then, once the restrictions were announced, it wasn’t just up to me to control my environment – it was being controlled for me. I didn’t need to worry so much about what Aaron and the kid were being exposed to because they were home. My limited exposure became theirs, and that just made me feel a whole lot better.

We didn’t completely isolate. But we made very deliberate choices about what we would do. As I mentioned in yesterday’s vlog, our local café has a service window to order and collect coffee. I felt safe getting my daily caffeine hit because I could remain safely distant from others and not need to touch door handles (or anything else other than a takeaway coffee cup) or breathe the same indoor air as strangers! When that café had a couple of well-deserved days off for their staff, we went to another one nearby. Once. I walked in and there were too many people inside, standing too close, talking too much. I ordered and waited for my coffee outside (why wasn’t everyone doing that?). And didn’t return.

Visits to the supermarket have been sporadic with my spidey senses on high alert. I’m so conscious of how close other people are, what they have touched and what I touched, what they are doing. I get in and out as fast as I can.

This has all become the norm and I don’t know how to move forward. I don’t know what the baby steps look like that would make me feel comfortable. We still have another two weeks before schools starts to return and our little cocoon is compromised by things outside our control. Yesterday, the kid asked me if it would be okay for her to go back to school once that was announced and would I be concerned because

I really hate feeling vulnerable. And that is exactly how I feel right now.

And torn. I feel torn. I miss my family and friends. I am desperate to be able to get back out and be around them and just not worry. But equally… I don’t know where they’ve been! I don’t trust people – which is a terrible thing to say…

So, what is it? Why do I feel this way? I know I’m not alone. I’ve spoken to some of my friends with diabetes from across the globe and many are saying the same thing. Maybe it’s all that talk that was so, so prominent at the beginning of the outbreak, and has continued as a whisper throughout it about high risk populations. While it made me feel overwhelmed at the beginning, now it is actually scaring me. That vulnerability is completely out of my control and combined with less control over my environment, I feel as though I am spiralling.

I know that I can’t stay all cosied up in my home forever more. I know that my family needs to get back out there; that I need to get back out there. But it is going to take a lot before I feel ready. And even more before I feel comfortable.

Actual insight into my thought stream right now from this The New Yorker cartoon. (Click for source)