*Disclaimer – be prepared to see the word ‘shielding’ a hella of a lot in this post
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you, shielding stinks. I’ve been shielding and in lockdown for such a long time now that I can feel myself going a bit crazy. I think people have spent less time in prison than I and so many others have shielding. I’ve found myself doing the most weirdest of jobs from readjusting all the bra straps that felt loose on my shoulders to organising the cat food boxes. Yep, I’m officially going barmy.
This shielding was never what I expected. It’s been a hell of a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Maybe that’s because I never thought I would spend 95% of my days indoors for such a long time. Maybe I had high hopes that the pandemic would be nearing it’s end by now. But nope, me and so many others are stuck with this lifestyle for the foreseeable.
I know that the (Welsh) Government are thinking of our safety and I really respect that. I just don’t think that they took mental health into consideration when it came to announcing to thousands of us had to keep to this shielding life until August 16th. That’s just in Wales however, it’s different for people who live in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
At first, I thought being at home would be quite fun. I thought of all the little jobs that I could get done around the house, those declutters that were in desperate need of being done, those weeds that needed pulling up in the garden and all those times I will be sitting down in front of the TV watching This Morning. But after a while, all the odd jobs that needed to be done have been done to the highest standard. This Morning is still being watched however – if I get up in time.
Shielding life has taught me a few things. Gratitude. I’m more grateful about a lot of things now eg family, friends, neighbours, the outside world and something as simple as a drive in my car. I’m incredibly grateful for all those things now. Not that I wasn’t before, but I feel more of a sense of real gratitude towards those things I took for granted before.
It’s also taught me how strong I am. People like myself who are vulnerable to this virus have to grow an inner strength that wasn’t there before. I’ve had to be strong because of CF anyway, but this strength I’ve grown is a completely different kettle of fish. I never thought that we would go through a pandemic in our lifetime. It’s a very surreal and scary situation that the world is currently in right now we’ve all had to be strong for each other, not just for ourselves.
Watching life from the inside also made me see how incredibly exceptionally selfish people are. There’s been two kinds of selfish during this lockdown, people who have put themselves first in terms of keeping themselves protected and safe from Covid. Then the other kind of selfish where people have not given a shit about rules and just done as they bloody well pleased, regardless of the risks involved. Let me tell you, in the last few weeks, I’ve unfollowed about 15-20 people because they have broadcasted on their Instagram stories that they have been having BBQ’s with friends (before lockdown rules were eased) or having meetups near the park with a few cans. Those people have really boiled my piss. I’ve been ranting and raving at my phone/laptop screen for so long now. I can’t think of anymore swear words I can use to describe them now!
Another thing that this shielding life has taught me is how much I have hated myself in this lockdown period. What I mean by that is now I have become a considerably angry person I’ve turned into. I don’t mean like Hulk style angry, just being pissed off more easily than I used to be. Before lockdown, I was getting pissed off at things like a customer in work moaning about their latte being too milky or the queue in Tesco Express to get petrol taking ages to budge. Nowadays, I’m getting angry at politicians, racists, selfish people, a virus, a pandemic and just the world in general. I’m sure I’ll change back to how I was before, but like I said, I really don’t like the person I have become during lockdown.
Hopefully the shielding life will come to an end before 2020 is over. I think there’s only so much people who are shielding can handle before going completely insane.