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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

Leaving Lockdown Anxiety

It looks like we will be leaving lockdown next week in the UK, with restrictions loosening, schools returning and many workplaces opening again in the coming 2-3 weeks.

For some I am sure this is a relief and a much needed return to work, routine and knowledge of income. I am very fortunate in that I have an employer who has stood by employees and supported us to work from home.

It is with this next change in our covid experience in mind, that I have reflected on the last 10 weeks I have been at home. Mindful that I have an expectation I will be here for another 4 to 8 weeks minimum (as the building I usually work is likely not covid compliant).

At first I settled into home working pretty well and quickly. I can, and have previously, worked remotely and from a laptop. So the early adaptions were fairly easy.

As time has passed I have found motivation and concentration much more difficult, but work has kept me busy.

In the last week(ish) we have had the joy of celebrating our engagement and starting the wedding conversations and plans. We have tried to guess what the world may look like next year and the year after. When might people be able to mix together? When might family be able to fly? Will we be able to touch/ hug? How will we look at venues, bands, and a raft of other things during 'social distancing' and any future lockdown?

We have generally agreed we will avoid the winter for the next 2 years, and not look at anything before mid 2021. This has helped me/ both of us start to make a road map, allowing us to see the potential journey in front of us.

However, during these discussions, I have realised how anxious and 'danger focused' I have become during the last few weeks.

The thoughts of visiting venues or meeting people, particularly in locations I don't know, has become a big concern. I don't really know what I am worried about, but I am very worried. On our weekly walk yesterday we discussed visiting venues and I just shut down, I didn't want to talk, my hands were sweaty and my mind was racing. I wasn't far from a panic attack, it was only the fact we were outside that meant I was able to act ok-ish.

On reflection I think having been at home for so long, with very few trips out (I've been to the shop twice, walked dogs twice and only had weekly walks). I have become very focused on 'stay at home'. Seeing and hearing other people mixing and having day trips makes me very uneasy. Like you do you, but don't then say we are in this together when you have driven down to the coast for the day (or Durham).

We will be coming out of lockdown in June and July, way before we should.

This makes me feel like I need to make my own decisions on what to do and when, because Government can't be trusted. Which in turn just makes me more anxious. I don't feel able to trust 'facts' or messages; even the law/ rules now seem unclear.

It is a very confusing time and personally I think I am going to find June very difficult and challenging. The idea of just going to meet people seems so reckless and unnecessary right now. But I know that's where we are heading and I need to adjust to going back outside and interacting with people again. It's going to be hard.

Lockdown is definitely not great, but it's been ok and we've been safe. I am worried, scared and anxious about what's next.


PS. I am very excited about the wedding things, just need to focus on the happy positive parts. Wedding post soon? Hummm, that could be nice...


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