Nothing could have prepared me for this earthquake of fears

Written on 08/12/2020 12:00 am

Contribution by Kim Scot

A year in our life 2020

I’m not sure in all of my 60 odd years on this planet I could have understood or believed the feelings this pandemic has unraveled in me.

I may have been bored, unhappy, depressed even, always seeking I knew not what but nothing could have prepared me for this earthquake of fears, struggles, nightmares and anxieties of 2020.

It has made me see in full technicolour detail how fortunate I have been in my life. Enough money to pay the bills, getting to live a bit of the dream with world travel, regular gym goer, choir member, even appeared at a popular venue in Birmingham to sing my heart out.

Of course there have been bereavements in my family but I got over those.

When I first heard the initial news of Covid 19 I knew something world changing was about to occur. I’ve always been highly interested in medical matters and maintained an objectivity but this hit me hard.

I’ve never had anxiety to any noticeable degree pre virus and it hit me like the proverbial ……… bricks. I had no point of reference and neither did the news, any articles I read, anywhere at all, could I get a handle on this horror.

I compare it to the outbreaks of World Wars I and II. I wasn’t in either but have read enough of both to be confounded as to how people survived the sheer awfulness of it.

I can only say I have always found difficulties keeping a rein on my weight. Though not greatly overweight I was no sylph like, supermodel. Fast forward to Covid and I lost a stone in two months which I have kept off as I seem to have lost the appetite for food nowadays. I now covet healthier foods which is both a blessing and a sadness.

I have developed a sheer paranoia about walking out not least because of people in blissful ignorance who insist on making you walk out of your way as in some weird competition designed in their heads they decided they are not going to step aside for anyone.

Supermarkets have become that greatest of memory tests. List includes face mask and not the ones that ping off my ears when I’m in the supermarket and cause me sheer terror. I’ve become vulnerable to any stray cough or sneeze that permeated the air.

Remembering to sanitize my hands, the credit card, leave it to dry then remember to put it back into my purse. Oy vey !!

I long to sit in a cafe, lingering over a latte and snack, not afraid to queue up and eat out at restaurants, go to my local gym, walk freely, see my family. So many lost things and I wonder if we will ever get them back, that innocence of hugging, chatting, sitting next to each other; dating even, for us singles.

I watch programmes on television which were made pre Covid. Tears well up in my eyes at those programmes where people hug, shake hands, chat, sit on trains, planes, coaches, buses.

Such poignancy.

Lost, innocent, happy days !!

I have however, discovered a world where everyone to a degree, is more equal.

Suffering can do that for us and knowing that people who hadn’t known depression or anxiety previously have found how much it can change their world and challenge it in ways not to be believed.

I have also found myself avoiding television programmes where my emotions will be too raw or overwhelming. “Silent Night ” is an all time favourite Christmas Carol for me and I’ve loved it always but there is a programme about to be on, which is about its origins and history and it will be too raw for me to watch now. I have a religious faith but can’t seem to cry. I pray, sometimes fervently but I have had to switch off my feelings to save my sanity I guess.

I’m trying so hard now to remember how to laugh and how I used to have such a wicked sense of humour. I read that babies laugh hundreds of time a day and I want to recapture that innocence and joy.

I want so badly for this vaccine to work but am at the same time so scared of having it in my body. My 90 plus Mum refuses point blank and seems utterly unfazed by the rigours of “Happy Birthday ” hand washes or sanitizers. Maybe because she doesn’t do either of these things, maybe it’s her generation, I’m not sure. But she baffles me and yet I admire her seemingly impenetrable indifference to it all.

This christmas has both a strange sadness yet sanctity about it. We stand on the threshold of a fragile hope of redemption through innoculation, a baptism of fire through the flames of hope. Surely Christmas is a time of hope, a fresh try at life and ” A Happy New Year to us all,” as Tiny Tim would cry.

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