Standing in Morrison’s at the till the other day, with a trolley full of shopping. The man behind me is literally breathing down my neck like f***ing Dracula. I kindly told him to step back so we could maintain an acceptable distance, and what do I get? An eye roll and a sigh. Yeah mate, I don’t fancy you breathing your germs onto my neck – even if you did have a mask on.
The thing is, I have no problem in telling people to back away from me if I think they’re entering my personal space. I’m surprised I never used to be more forceful like that pre pandemic. I think this pandemic has made me see that I am more than happy to keep my distance from strangers, in whatever setting.
Ok, it has been such a relief and comfort knowing I have been doubly vaccinated and to be able to socialise with family and friends similarly to what I did pre Covid. But I still need to be careful – and I’m ok with that. The questions is – will my loved ones and support network be ok with that? I’d like to think so. Actually, come to think of it, my family have been incredible and so understanding and I know they wouldn’t put me at any risk in any way. My friends have also been amazing, one or two I’ve had to explain things to, but that’s ok, I was fully expecting that anyway.
However, one thing I cannot do, is explain to strangers why they need to social distance from me. Let’s face it, we encounter strangers everyday, whether that be in the queue at the supermarket, sat in a hospital waiting room or bypassing someone on the stairs. I kind of don’t think random people would be happy with me explaining to them why they need to keep their 2m distance from me.
For people like myself who are CEV (clinically extremely vulnerable) to Covid, this new rule of not sticking to compulsory social distancing and mask wearing is quite worrying. We’ve spent god knows how long behind closed doors to help protect our NHS and it literally feels like the government have thrown us under a bus and told us to get on with it and pay the consequences if we do get Covid. I’ve got to cling on to the hope that I can rely on the public to be as sensible as they possibly can and want to now. I know I can rely on some to do that, but not everybody will.
One thing I will say is that I am fed up of being treated like a second class citizen and being seen as a nuisance and burden to a lot of people who don’t give a sh*t. You don’t think I want to be CEV do you? Do you think I like the fact that I have locked myself away from the outside world for 18 months to appease the government’s so called advice? No, you’ll be surprised to know, I’ve bloody hated it. But you know, blame my DNA for giving me CF. I didn’t ask for it! I think the government and like minded people forget that I have a job, I have a social life, I have errands to run etc and bills to pay, I don’t want to be cooped up indoors all the time staring at four walls.
All I’m going to say is that, whether you’re CEV or not, if you want to keep to social distancing, then that is more than ok, in fact, it’s bloody fantastic. I know there are plenty of selfish people out there who would rather not wear masks or social distance, and before anyone says it, I know that there are people who are medically exempt from wearing masks or having the vaccine etc. But I’d like to think that common sense and compassion will prevail, and that people will understand if I tell them politely to back off if they come a bit too close for my liking.
I would hate to think that people will feel pressured to not wear a mask or social distance just because other’s aren’t and that the government says it’s ok not to. People only listen to the government’s advice if it’s something that pleases them. If you want to wear a mask and keep social distancing, then you do that! You do you boo, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!