Ah Sunday, another day of nothingness. Shall we have a little chat?
I’ll be honest here. I’m struggling. Remember almost a year ago when I wrote about how we were two weeks into a lockdown that was due to last three weeks? Little did I think 10 months later I would be sitting crying tears of frustration at lockdown being extended yet again. So I think it’s time we have a little chat.
We’re all fed up. Well, those of us in the UK are. If you’re that lucky person sitting in Australia planning your night out, please know that I am jealous. It was announced on Tuesday that Scotland were going to start letting the early school years go back to the classroom, but everyone else is stuck with the same rules until the beginning of March. Then on Thursday, the Northern Ireland stood up and announced early years would start back to school 8th March, with lockdown continuing for everyone else until 1st April at the earliest. They then went on to say things like “don’t make plans for Easter”, quoting that the young children are having their mental health damaged by not being in school. It was said time and again that the R number is between 0.6 and 0.8, but that the earliest they will lift anything else will be after Easter as they want to avoid big gatherings.
Now. For those of us that have followed the rules to the best of our ability, this is a slap in the face. Unfortunately the numbers are still high. And it’s for that reason that I agree, there do still need to be restrictions in place. However. We were told on 17th December that this lockdown would be in place from Boxing Day until the R number was below 1 for a sustained amount of time. It has also been proven that children in school here in the UK drives up the number of cases. Businesses are collapsing. People are at breaking point. And now we’re being told we’re probably going to be in this position for another 2 months. I’m not sure how much longer I can cope.
I don’t necessarily want out to a pub. Or overly care about getting a hair cut. Plus, we all know I’m not one for going out partying or in large crowds. However I do want the choice to do these things. I don’t want a government standing behind podiums telling me that we as the general public aren’t doing enough. Because while I know there are pockets breaking the rules, the majority of us have been following them. The way things stand here in Northern Ireland, pubs that don’t serve food have been open for a total of 3 weeks since 20th March 2020. Many of them actually closed their doors earlier than that because social distancing was advised and they couldn’t facilitate it. With this last announcement, Lockdown 3 (or is it Lockdown 4 for us in Northern Ireland?) will last a minimum of 14 weeks with no relaxation of the rules. That’s longer than the first lockdown back last year!
It’s becoming harder and harder to focus on those silver linings of lockdowns. I’m no longer saving money because instead we’re buying takeaways and alcohol to treat ourselves more often. It’s the middle of winter, so we can’t spend a lot of time outside. Brexit means there are food shortages in shops, or use by dates are ridiculously close, so you go food shopping and come home more annoyed about life than before you left. TV is more or less rubbish, streaming services are hiking their prices up, and I want to see someone that is not related to me or one of my bosses – sorry folks but it’s true.
Living at home during the pandemic has been a blessing. I genuinely would not have been able to survive financially if I were living on my own. I’d probably have felt even more isolated, and not sure I would’ve coped much better. However everyone is feeling lockdown fatigue now. So if one person in the house is in a bad mood, everyone ends up in a bad mood. Little things, even down to having a bath without worrying someone else wants into the bathroom, lift us up or send us spiralling.
I’m also annoyed at myself. In 2019, I spent the money to take my parents and my sister on holiday. We had an absolute blast when we were away. But it meant I chose not to spend money on seeing my friends in Glasgow. Fear not, said I, I will travel in 2020 and see more of my friends! But of course that didn’t happen. Meaning the last time I saw some of my uni friends face-to-face was October 2018. And it’s a stupid thing to be annoyed about, because a lot of people have it worse. But I miss seeing people my own age. I miss getting in the car and just driving for the sake of driving. I miss being by the sea, or taking a walk around a clothes shop with no intention of buying anything. I miss being in work 5 days a week and feeling that wave of exhaustion hit on a Friday at 4:10pm when I got home and relaxed. Having meals that someone else has cooked for you, served you, and cleaned up after. A pint that has come through the pipes to give it that perfect head, helping down the ridiculously overpriced crisps. Planes going overhead and wondering where they’re going.
My sincere apologies for being so negative today. It’s probably not what you wanted to read on a Sunday morning, nor is it any help to you. But one thing I have always been clear about is this is Life With Ktkinnes. Me. And pretending that everything’s hunky-dory when it’s not just isn’t cutting it anymore. It’s exhausting pretending to be positive all the time. So instead I am going to take the time today to try and bring back that bit of hope. I’m going to make up a list of all the things I can’t wait to do when these lockdowns end or are reduced, and try to make loose plans. Hopefully we’ll reach the other side of this soon. But in the mean time, if you’re struggling – talk. Please don’t feel alone. And if you don’t feel comfortable talking to friends or family, there are many charities and organisations that can help you when you’re struggling. Don’t suffer alone. As I said a few years ago, even stars need darkness to shine, and a new day is coming soon.