It’s now 276 days since the pandemic first pushed me to working from home. My initial estimates were that the distruption would last 3-6 months, based on what happened in Wuhan. It turns out that I under-estimated. The UK has now had over 9 months of fluctuating restrictions without ever getting things under control. While some countries have returned to normal, lockdowns here look set to continue well into the new year.
I’ve been very lucky that covid itself has had little impact on me personally; and I remain grateful that both my work and living situations are stable. But months of lockdown are beginning to take their toll on me; and I’m seeing people around me starting to fray a little.
Part of this comes from living alone. I’m grateful not to have to worry about dealing with housemates, or insecure accomodation. But I miss having meals with people. I also have very few normal interactions. Social distancing means that physical contact, even shaking hands, is not possible. In the old days, I could get away from it all in a cafe or browsing a bookshop. Now, there’s no possibility of going to a social space and forgetting about this, with masks, covid precautions and social distancing making everything seem strange. It’s rare to spend time around people who are behaving normally.
I have it pretty easy – there are many vulnerable people in much worse situations than I am. But even doing the pandemic in easy mode takes its toll. These are not the sort of things that can be solved by a newspaper listicle. I keep up my daily exercise, try to eat properly, and make preparations for a grim January and February. Even with the vaccine coming, we have more months of this ahead, and sometimes it’s just hard.If you want to follow what I'm up to, sign up to my mailing list