One Step Forward Two Steps Back...
How to deal with anxieties around the ever-changing covid outbreaks.
So no one thought that covid would last this long, no one thought we would be limited to one walk a day, no one thought we would have to wear masks for the foreseeable future. But these are all things that have happened and are still ongoing over a year later.
Does it ever feel like you are taking one step forward and then two steps back?
Throughout the website, I have spoken about anxieties surrounding covid and re-socialisation. But at the minute we seem to be going back and forth between being allowed to socialise and then having to isolate again.
I spoke to someone who had anxieties surrounding covid and discussed how the ever-changing rules have impacted them. Below is an overview of their answers.
What were your feelings when we first went into lockdown in 2020?
The interviewee stated that it was very strange and it happened very quickly but at the time there was an aspect of relief taking a little bit of time away from school as it had been very stressful. However, since it was all very new to everyone and the teachers and pupils were still learning, it was still quite a stressful way of learning. However, they also explained that they had never experienced a global pandemic before and they had genuine concerns about the health and wellbeing of everyone. They stated that the living side of things was very stressful, only being allowed out once a day, no one had really thought that the world would come to that point and it was all very crazy when you look back on it but at the same time it just became the normal part of life.
“Looking back I realise how anxious I actually was”.
Thinking back what aspects caused the most anxiety?
The interviewee stated that they had had a lot of underlying anxieties throughout the pandemic, that never really went away stating that they had “major fears over my own and others health” as well as fears of getting it and passing it on to others in the house or in the community. They posed that with all the rules there was a lot of fear over accidentally breaking them for example doing something wrong in shops, instead, they just avoided too many interactions where this might happen. After not being in the shops for months they stated that they finally managed by going in with someone else and taking every precaution to ensure the safety of themselves and others. When asked they stated that these were still ongoing anxieties.
How did you feel going into Level 1 and getting to socialise again?
The interviewee suggested that there was some anxiety about getting back to ‘normal’ as concerns about an outbreak were always at the back of their mind. Going to larger environments was of the greatest concern, things like work and school where you have to wear a mask all day and you were mixing with people that you otherwise wouldn’t be. They expressed their gratitude that they were allowed to socialise with others and that hospitality was able to reopen, however, explained that
“it can be difficult to put your trust (or essentially your life) in the hands of people that you don’t know”.
The interviewee disclosed their concern regarding recent outbreaks and the observation that you can’t always guarantee that everyone is taking the necessary precautions.
What are your thoughts regarding the constant changes related to coronavirus?
The interviewee communicated that the constant changes to levels can make it a little bit confusing to follow and you can often forget what you are and are not allowed to do in different situations. They showed their understanding of the frustrations that people have with the constant changes, but it wasn’t something that could be helped. They explained that when things started to open up there was some concern, that was shared in the community, surrounding tourists, and the amount of travel, as they had mentioned before you are putting your trust in a lot of people that don’t know.
What would be your advice to others in the same situation?
The interviewee accredited spending time with their family as a way to have fun throughout lockdown, stating that “it was important to keep everyone’s spirits up and was a great time to just take a minute to spend time with family”. They also suggested methods such as meditation to reduce stress and encouraged people who are struggling to sleep to find something that they find calming e.g., calming music or noises.
Firstly I would like to thank the interviewee for sharing their experiences through these questions, it's important for anyone reading this to know that you are not alone in your feelings or anxieties. Everyone has had different feelings surrounding this pandemic and each and everyone is completely valid.
It is hard at the moment to know what is happening but just remember no matter what you are feeling there are always people that you can talk to. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with it all but just remember to take it one step at a time.