Engaging with people is what makes me tick. Of course in person is best, but since we have been unable to do that in recent times, Zoom etc has enabled us to stay in touch even if it is only virtually. What has really shocked me in this time, is how the country is gripped with fear. I am on social media a lot and see what is happening there, but of course that is only one part of the equation. My conclusion is based on my own circle of friends. People who although not in their youth, enjoy being out more than in, with many fortunate enough to be able to travel round the world fulfilling their dreams.
Amongst that group are several in relatively poor health, shielding because of their own personal circumstances. We have all suffered from not seeing our grandchildren for many months too. A few of us require regular maintenance at hospital, which has all been cancelled because of Covid19. Most of us are ‘planners’ and have holidays etc organised months in advance without a second thought. We also regularly use public transport as it is far more convenient when living in London. Free for people of a certain age! But none of that is happening now.
Other than meeting up with family, and infrequent trips to buy food, many feel unsure about even leaving their homes. Inviting them for a day out in London is a very definite no! Many of us haven’t been on public transport for at least 6 months. These are friends of mine who in normal circumstances love to socialise. Frequently eating and drinking at our local restaurants. But in our house things are very slowly getting back to something more ‘normal.’ Mrs L is a regular again at her gym, and is starting to go out for lunch with some of her friends. We are eating out and have even had a weekend away with all the family.
People seem quite surprised when asking how we are getting on. They feel that Mrs L should be staying at home so as not to put me at risk. Also they sound slightly shocked when I tell them that I am going out quite regularly. What they don’t understand is that my family have always lived a well disciplined regime around me. We have all sacrificed a lot in the fear of cancer and it’s treatment. Much of this has been our way of life for many years. But no more fear from here!
Of course we are as sensible as we can be, but there will always be an element of risk in life. Look at how many life changing events that have happened in recent years including the explosion in Beirut, within the last two weeks! I have always felt guilty how my family’s lives have been changed because of my illness. I am delighted to see they are all getting on as best they can during these difficult times.
All our lives are full of uncertainty which has been the case since we were born. Part of that uncertainty creates the excitement we might experience. But it can also create the feeling of fear. That can eat away at you and can put you into a state of emotional paralysis. Which is what I am beginning to see for many people. The virus has taken many lives, quite shocking in this day and age, but we know a lot more about it now. We have reached the stage where we must live with it not hide from it!
My own life has never been the same since the cancer experience, but it has empowered me. I have no fear at all now, certainly not of Covid19. Having had my own brushes with death, I will not be hiding away. Only for the benefit of others. Risk and uncertainty will always be ingredients of our lives, with or without life threatening disease or illness. Of course there are many things we can do to minimise, but not totally remove them.
Risk is something we must all assess for ourselves. Surely we don’t need Government to tell us what is sensible for us? But let’s not get disabled by fear. Not only does the economy need us to start moving forward but it is for our own benefit and mental health. We are only now starting to see the impacts of fear, I don’t want to imagine what it might look like in another 6 months.
What kind of life will it be, if we all are hiding away from the things that we enjoy? Fear is stopping us from living our lives, that’s not how we want to live, surely. I didn’t go through all I have been through, to remain living in fear and hiding in my house. Nothing will stop me from living my life the best way I can. I haven’t come this far, just to stop. Other than health, time is the most valuable thing we have. It’s a daily decreasing asset. Don’t let fear take it from you, it can be more destructive that the virus itself. Who knows what might happen tomorrow?
As always these are my own thoughts and opinions based on personal experiences. Please feel free to share your own below.