This has been the weirdest time for everyone. All of the plans that we had for this year are up in the air. I haven’t seen my son for over 3 months and have had to use frailty exemptions to see my mum. Our lives are not usually spent at home but right now we rarely leave. Even our shopping habits – going out for a few things every day and a big shop every couple of weeks – have changed.
I do feel that the end of this strange time is in sight though. I dare to be hopeful for the future. But first I’ll start with a few fears so I can finish on a positive note.
At the beginning of lockdown my fears centred around becoming ill myself or that family might become ill. Because I’ve kept going out and have learned how to avoid contact I am less fearful. Working in Test and Trace has helped because I am seeing that the number of people out there with Covid is dropping and that fewer people are seriously ill.
Now, my fears are about getting back to a normal life and about how difficult that might be. My mum has been damaged by being home too long and is now frightened to go out. It’s going to take time and patience to help her regain some independence.
I worry that it will be a long time before we can do some of the things we enjoy again. Like going to a gallery or the theatre. For one thing that they might not be safe, or that social distancing will be difficult. But worse that some theatres and venues may never open again. That they will have gone out of business.
I worry that travel will be challenging. Wearing a mask for hours on a plane does not appeal. But going away on holiday does. I have an apartment in France and so can go away without the need for hotels etc. I want to support the economy here and in Europe.
Finally I fear that I will never get my breast reconstruction surgery. I’ve missed one follow up appointment with my breast surgeon and probably won’t get seen till November when I have an oncology appointment. I don’t have an appointment with the plastic surgeon, and fully expect to need to be re-referred to get one. But of course, hospitals are unsafe places right now and the operation is a big one. So for now, I’ll happily sit tight.
Now onto the happy stuff. My over riding hope is that people will learn from this whole experience. That they will start to be kinder and more understanding. Though I’m not holding my breath on that one.
I hope that I can resume something like the lifestyle I had before. To be able to eat out, have a glass of wine in a beer garden. To stay in a hotel and visit new places.
We are hoping that a trip to France in September will be possible. We’re talking about taking the channel tunnel instead of a ferry and stopping as little as we can on the way down. It’s a long way down to the south of France and we will need to stop a couple of nights. Once there we can settle ourselves into a different way of life for a while and take it as it comes.
After this year is over I have some bigger hopes. That G and I might get married, perhaps next year. Though with all the backlog of weddings it might have to be the year after.
That at some point my son and daughter in law decide to and are able to have a baby. I’m 58 in August and can cope with that now. Though I wouldn’t broach this topic with them!
I’m hoping to be able to see friends again and at some point be able to hug the people I want to. Also to resume going to fun events like the annual song festival in Oxford that is virtual this year. Finally that we can plan trips further afield and not have to worry about Covid. But I think that’s a way off.
I’m very aware that I am lucky to live the life I do. To be financially secure and healthy. I know my worries are nothing compared to others. Plus I have the support and love of my partner. For that I am extremely grateful.