I would love lockdown to end and for us all to go back to normal; seeing our friends and family whenever we want, visiting places we want to visit, having a “normal” visit to the supermarket, social contact rather than social distancing… Despite this I am scared for lockdown ending.
The government hasn’t really given an indication to when lockdown might end and what will happen when it does. Will it be a gradual process? Will we still have to socially distance? Will there still be a ban on gatherings of more than two people? We have no idea what the government plans to do and how the exit strategy will work.
I know it’s best to focus on the now rather than worrying about the future, or things that we can’t control but when we have so much time at home we have a lot of time to think.
During lockdown I feel relatively safe. I go out jogging early in the morning when there aren’t many people about and the rest of the day I’m in the house or the garden. I go to the supermarket once a week, and my husband does a top up shop once a week. He goes out for some exercise at the weekend but in the week he is working from home. We follow the hand washing guidelines, probably to more of an extreme than most. All these things make me feel as safe as we can be at this time. By doing this we are lowering our risk of catching COVID-19.
Despite following the guidelines I still feel anxious going into a supermarket and will often over think whether I could have caught COVID-19 while I was there. Did I socially distance well enough? Did I put enough hand gel on my hands when I left the supermarket? Has someone with COVID -19 touched something that I have bought and I have therefore brought it into my house? Have I wiped my shopping down with anti bacterial wipes well enough? I know many people will probably think I am being over cautious but I value mine and my families health, so will do all I can to stop us catching the disease.
The weird thing is, thinking about lockdown ending scares me, despite the fact that it could be a long way off I am still thinking about what it will be like. I am worried that things will go back to “normal” too soon with the disease still out there. The aim of lockdown is to slow the spread of the disease to help the NHS cope with demand. It’s not there to eliminate the disease. If it was up to me I would want lockdown in place until we haven’t had any new cases or deaths for at least 14 days, and then only allow flights in and out of the country, to and from countries that also haven’t had any cases for at least 14 days. I understand that this ideology is probably impractical for people’s mental health and the economy. However, I can’t see how I would feel safe going back to “normal” with COVID-19 cases still around.
The government is converting hotels and exhibition centres into hospitals to cater for hundreds of COVID-19 patients. It’s great that they are being prepared but I thought the whole idea of lockdown was that it was meant to decrease the number of COVID-19 cases and admissions to hospital so that the NHS can cope. I find it unnerving that these preparations (although positive) being made look like we are due to face far more COVID-19 cases than we already have. This really scares me. Are lockdown restrictions going to be eased once these temporary hospitals are in place so they are able to deal with a mass number of patients while people go back to their usual daily lives, following their initial plan of herd immunity?
One thing that is also sure is that the longer people continue to flout the social distancing rules the longer COVID-19 and lockdown will go on. I see children playing with other children from different families, I hear of people making unnecessary journeys, turning up to work with suspected COVID-19, leaving their house if they or someone in their house has suspected COVID-19, then there’s the reported BBQs and sunbathing that happened at the weekend. All of these are selfish acts and could potentially end up killing someone. I’m sure the doctors, nurses and other key workers would love to be in lockdown but instead they are selflessly saving the lives of others, keeping the country running all at the risk to their own and their families health. These people are all heroes and I’m sure anyone flouting the rules would be the first to expect to be treated. We are being asked to stay at home and are lucky enough to be able to go and buy essentials and be allowed out for exercise. I wasn’t aware that having a BBQ with friends or sunbathing in a park was considered exercise.
At the moment returning to our usual daily lives can seem a long way off, or a bit of a dream but what I think is important is that the government doesn’t rush the relaxing of the restrictions. I find it hard not knowing what the next steps will be, maybe they don’t yet? All I know is that I am in no rush for lockdown and the restrictions to be lifted because ultimately I value mine and my families health before our freedom. When they do get lifted I will make a personal decision about what I feel comfortable with, because if there are still lots of COVID-19 cases around I am not going to be in any hurry to be sociable. Plus, there’s definitely a lot of positives that can come from lockdown which will be another blog for another day.