Naomi Bulger from Naomiloves.com is making a collection of our stories from this time during the coronavirus. Please head on over to her website to add yours as it’s important that there’s a record of us ordinary folks. Here’s mine…
I find I am dealing with this crisis by being selfish and guilty at the same time. At the moment, everyone I love and care for are safe and well, and that’s all that matters to me. I cannot listen to the news for long, or know the horrific numbers because the fear, the stress and the imagined heartbreak would pull me too low. I deliberately and forcefully avoid thinking about the what-ifs and the what-mights. I whoop and cheer the NHS and profusely thank the delivery drivers who come to our house, but I feel guilty for not doing enough to help. With two autoimmune diseases, I decided to protect my health and my energy and stay indoors.
I always write a thankfulness list every day – usually appreciating the small things in life. Now I’m finding I’m repeating the same big things; I’m so thankful to feel safe at home with a family who love each other; to have a house big enough so we can each go to our own rooms; to have a garden to enjoy the outdoors; to have a relatively secure income. But then feeling uncomfortable for knowing that plenty of people don’t have those things.
I’m late to the impact of the coronavirus. Our dog died just as it was taking hold, and the grief was my dominant emotion for a long time. So now it’s sinking in and I have to admit, I like the lockdown. I am cripplingly shy, and every conversation with anyone other than close family is a struggle for me. So, it seems, contrary to the rest of the population, I’m actually finding a sense of calm in the situation. Not only do I not have to deal with the stress of being social, I’m not even meant to be being social! I don’t need to push myself all the time to interact with people more because I know I should. That said, I’ve started doing Zoom calls with book club and choir, and although I love seeing everyone again, on Zoom it becomes so much more obvious that I prefer to be quiet and listen to others carrying the conversation.
My husband and I work from home anyway, so apart from having our grown-up kids at home all day, every day; and apart from actually having to go to Tescos to do the shopping instead of doing it online; our lives haven’t changed all that much. It’s all fairly easy for us, and I am immensely grateful for that. And then of course the guilt creeps in because for so many it’s a struggle.
I live in the centre of Somerset, UK, a relatively safe place, but I know there are people in the village who have covid-19 so I am very nervous about every trip to the post office – I make and sell fairytale clothing and decided to carry on. At the moment I’m hoping for a future that recovers quickly – mentally, physically and financially. I’m hoping that my daughters will be able to get a job again. I’m hoping that the New Forest Fairy Festival, where I make about half my yearly income will still go ahead in August, and that our family holiday that we’d moved from May to September can happen. And I’m hoping that for the time being at least, the lady round the corner continues to sell eggs from her garden gate.