COVID-19 – how I’m doing right now

I’ve not written anything for a while; I don’t tend to write much if I’m a bit stressed or busy. Writing’s relaxing for me, but my head’s got to be in it.

It’s strange times right now, which you don’t need me to explain, and I’ve not felt I’ve had anything to contribute. There’s SO much out there currently, I’ve not really wanted to add to the pile.

But I was asked to keep writing, so here I am.

These are unprecedented times. No one’s dealt with anything quite like this in our lifetime. I read this the other day, written by an aid worker who’s been involved in many emergency responses:

Everyone reacts differently to emergencies. Some people information-seek like mad, some get angry, some pick fights (in real life or on social media), some panic, some make a LOT of jokes, some deny the problem, some become terribly terribly active and efficient and want to help, some withdraw and fall off the radar. These are, fundamentally, all coping mechanisms for the same thing, which is at its root a deep sense of fear and loss of control. They’re all valid. Bottom line: we’ll need to be kind to each other, and that includes if someone is being aggressive or argumentative or overbearing. Experience suggest that we’ll all have a bit of a meltdown, and probably a cry, at some point. It’s just the way it goes.

I’m one of those that withdraws and falls off the radar for a bit. I don’t like being bombarded with stuff and constant discussion. I’m a pragmatic person, I don’t tend to worry or get anxious, and so relentless worst-case-scenario type chatter exhausts me.

I’m tired right now.

Tired of hearing about how people want to cheat the lockdown or find a loophole, tired of constant posts about free stuff, or being told how to exercise at home, or how to make the most of the downtime. I don’t want teaching resources, or be told how to be super productive, or how to change how I do things.

I’m tired of people moaning and bickering and attacking other people. I’m tired of people feeling like they have to bring someone down to raise someone else up. Everyone is scared, frightened and in shock and we’re not being kind.

I just want to be still, to collect my thoughts and have some time to come to terms with it all. There’s plenty of time to get stuff done, I’m in no rush. I’m not relishing [at least] 4 weeks in my flat, alone, without any actual face to face company; I’m a social creature who spends a lot of time out and about and with others. An extrovert that gets their energy from other people. I’ve voiced these thoughts over the last few days, and got responses like:

“It’s OK, you’re used to being alone.”

“You can just video call people, it’s fun!”

“At least you don’t have family who will annoy you by being there!”

Please don’t minimise or dismiss my feelings. This is affecting EVERYONE.

  • Yes I’m used to being alone, but not all the time.
  • Yes I can video call people, but as an expat I do this all the time. The novelty and fun factor has worn off. It’s actually exhausting.
  • No I don’t have family here, and it’s another reminder that they are so far away and so long since I’ve seen them.

I know people mean it well, as a way to try and make me feel better – but it doesn’t. Instead let’s just acknowledge that things are hard for everyone, whatever their circumstances.

Oh, and maybe [virtually] stop by to say hi every now and then.

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