Well-being in the pandemic

When they say lockdown is different for everyone, they’re not far wrong.

When they say we’re all in the same storm but maybe in different boats, I completely agree.

THAT is why there is no right or wrong answer for any of us at the moment, all along I’ve been struggling, but the one thing that has kept me going is the fact that there is probably someone in a worse off situation.

These are some stories I’ve recently discovered that I feel need to be published for others to understand that there is someone else out there with worse problems, or not! There are also some that are almost equal with their situation, but it may feel worse. On a weekly basis I have felt anger towards the selfish people out there that have not listened to the rules (and I’m sure I’m not the only one), people having parties and not having a thought for anyone else. I try not to think about it too much because it upsets me, but they’re the ones that are getting attention and they shouldn’t! Punish them yes but don’t forget the ones that are following the rules, their lives made a misery because of it but they are FOLLOWING THE RULES.

Sophia is a student living away from her family; she is 19, and working part time in a bar to keep the money coming in because her loan just about covers her study fees. She lives in Southampton, her mother lives in London and her father lives in Manchester, she has no siblings and her parents are divorced. She has friends that she shares her house with, and she gets on ok with them so to her being in lockdown for her is relatively ok because she spends time either running around the local park or watching Netflix. However she cannot work because the bar she works in is currently closed so she has no income. Her evening meals consist of porridge or pasta, luckily her housemates have been helping her by giving her food but she’s too proud. She could stay with her father in Manchester, but he’s the only person she knows up there and her mother doesn’t have room for her because she’s in a 1 bedroom flat. Not only that her mother has a boyfriend that she lives with whom she doesn’t get on with because he flirts with her when her mothers not around.

Ben lives by himself in a 1 bedroom flat in the suburbs of Southampton. His life has always been quite sociable, he’s always had friends around him all the time and family that live nearby but not quite walking distance and he relies on public transport. He works in a town 9 miles away so having travelling to work on public transport, because he previously had a bike but it got stolen in his block. He’s currently working full time from his sofa in his lounge, but needs to go into work twice a week because he has a job that requires him to be present in the building on certain days.

Janine has 2 sets of parents she’s watching out for because they’re all over 80. Luckily they’re both walking distance and she can manage with getting an online shop delivered to them both on a weekly basis. The added stress is that she has three children to also look after, which has meant home schooling for a 4, 10 and 14 year old girl (with added hormones). Jane also works part time at a local theme park, but because of lockdown she has been furloughed. I know what you’re thinking, you’re wondering where the father is aren’t you? Alan passed away of Covid back in September of last year, so she is literally doing this all by herself. She is so grateful that she has a garden, and her husband had a good pension but it doesn’t make it any easier and misses him so desperately and cries herself to sleep most nights.

Sue, lives alone and had retired. She had friends who were also retired that lived in the village near her but they all had family and had their own support bubbles in place, she didn’t have any family so she was completely alone. For this reason she bought herself a cat to keep her company, Fig she called her because she was sweet and cuddly. Jenny had started to feel much better having Fig around, she had television and internet but she wasn’t completely confident with using it and still relied on dvd’s and CD’s. She did have a friends who would’ve dropped anything to help her, but again they were already in a bubbles so couldn’t come round. But she had Fig and that company had started to feel like her support bubble and kept her company, with her constant running around after balls of wool that Jenny had given up hope on using to do any knitting. Unfortunately on Guy Fawkes night Fig disappeared and has not been since, and the worry of it is added stress to Jenny. She spent time walking the streets of the village and putting up posters but by Christmas she had given up all hope of seeing her little Fig ever again and it was unbearable anyway but having that little cat was her company especially for over Christmas.

Children are suffering with being stuck indoors all the time, it’s really affecting their mental health. At least as adults we can adjust to the current surroundings. Preschoolers (like our William) can’t understand why they cannot see their friends, we would walk down the road (used to because now he won’t even go out) and see his friends on the other side of the road and they would wave to each other like strangers. It was one of the unhappy memories about this time I will never forget and it got to me really hard, every time I saw his confused face I wanted to cry but I would have to suck it up and pretend it was normal and just keep thinking positive. We were all healthy, was what is always going around in my head.

They do my head in but I am so protective of my boys

William and Mike (my husband) haven’t been in a shop since March, because if we did need anything I would be the one to go. There was no way I was taking any chance letting him go anywhere, so I was the one that was taking the risk but that was my decision but we were lucky enough that we’d managed to always get online deliveries for shopping.

Stopping our parents going out has been a challenge, they all liked the daily papers so it would mean they were going in paper shops on a daily basis which made us worry constantly. However, eventually we managed to get paper deliveries for them all which was a blessing because that meant they could all stay at home.

This afternoon I saw in the news that 10 million vaccines have now been given people in the UK, I really think that’s incredible and while there are lots of pessimists in the country that have already decided that the vaccine isn’t any good or against their beliefs these people are forgetting that they are in fact putting a strain on our NHS. I really wish that they would think again about their actions, and maybe think about the other lives they’re risking. Maybe I’m talking out of term, but I don’t want to offend anyone I am just sincerely concerned that some of the population of this country seems to becoming more and more selfish.

The good news for me is that Mike had his vaccine, I was so pleased and relieved and I am looking forward to having a good nights sleep tonight without waking up in the night scarred wondering what I would do if he wasn’t there beside me. I know we’re not out of it yet, but this for me is the first step to possibly getting back to a bit of normality.

I can see that light, and it is getting bigger.

Let’s hope that things get a bit better for Sophia, Ben, Janine and Sue.

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