A UK-wide lockdown is in the offing and thoughts of stockpiling toilet roll and other necessities are rearing their ugly heads again.
I’ve resigned myself to the idea that I’ll not be back in my office until next year sometime so I need to accept life (for want of a better word) spending even more time at home for a while.
Stress seems to be a constant companion to me these days, my old buddy, always there, even when I don’t want it. It’s difficult to escape the Covid chatter, whether it’s hearing about where the next local lockdown is, what the government is saying or doing, what the news is telling us, what the neighbours think is going to happen and how it could all be a conspiracy to control us. The daily, sometimes hourly updates on the numbers of people with the virus, the theories and threats of national lockdown seem to be worse than the actual lockdown. I really should turn the radio and TV off once in a while.
Restaurants and pubs are closing one minute, reopening the next, uncertainty is the only certainty.
Finding activities that help the mind cope with the daily barrage of information about Covid is tough. I can’t admit to having anything figured out yet and, like many others, I’m still trying to process what is going on and work out how to deal with it.
There were a few recent glorious weeks when we all thought it was the beginning of the end and hope began to raise its precious little head in each of us. Could it be? Well, no. Just as quickly, the virus seems to be gaining control of all our lives again and forcing us to change our behaviour to protect us all.
For me, my life has become much smaller, with phone calls and Whatsapp messages my main forms of communication with the outside world. Apart from work — which is about the only thing that is keeping me grounded — there’s a lot of TV watching and searching for fictional stories to immerse myself in. Horror is the genre of the lockdown for me, which might seem strange to you but fits perfectly for me. I’ve recently discovered a gem called The Exorcist, an American series based on the iconic 1970s film. I highly recommend it if you like scary shows. And with my favourite time of the year approaching — Halloween — this is completely appropriate. I try not to dwell too much on the holidays and celebrations we’ve all been missing out on. Growing up in Ireland, Halloween was important to us but now it’ll be thousands of smaller celebrations in homes across the world rather than the massive community fete it usually is. Quite a nice thought, really.
But the fact that we’ll still be around to enjoy them later is what’s keeping us all going. And we can still make these events special in our own ways. Being able to adapt is why we are one of the most successful species on the planet, after all.
Other ways that help me relax include enjoying a bath and reading a book; the kind of boring, middle-aged activities that we’ll all be reduced too in the age-levelling times of Covid — take that, kids!
I have no doubt that we’re all going to be OK. If we check up on each other, take it one day at a time, one bath at a time and maybe turn off the news now and then.
— Christina Curran is freelance writer based in Northern Ireland.