I’m writing this whilst sat at the hairdressers. My first visit for 6 months (I was due to visit in early March!) and it’s such a weird experience.
It is no longer a chilled, relaxing visit – I have never seen so much perspex! No coffee or vino offered (it is only 10am though) and no trashy mags available, plus lots of people in weird visors and outfits that wouldn’t be out of place on some 9pm Sky Atlantic drama… there is still loads of inane chat though, mainly about how weird life has been in the last few months!
I was so excited to get here, and the thrill of walking out later without greys and with hair that I don’t feel the need to hide under a cap is simply awesome!!
It’s made me wonder what I’m going to do next – I can’t just go home and do nothing!?!? Is this the start of more tentative steps back to reality?
How are you supposed to feel about going back to normal life – is it a little scary? Do you worry about catching the virus yourself? Or are you more focused on what you might spread to others? Also, do you guys compare yourself to others? Do you feel shame for taking steps that others frown upon?
Although awesome to be out of my solitary confinement, I’m finding things a little tougher now than at the height of this. It was really clear before – I and everyone else had to stay at home, full stop, no discussion. Now people are interpreting things differently and are all in very different situations – for example, caring for vulnerable people who still can’t go back to normal, having kids back at school, no ability to work from home. I feel like I’m being judged by others – am I been too risky or too risk adverse? And I’m looking at others and wondering why they are/aren’t doing things and questioning whether I’m going to get it right or not.
I have people around me who are shielding or looking after shielders, and others still concerned in general about the risks and the potential of a second wave. I also have people who seem to think the virus has gone and life should be back to normal. I think I’m in the middle of that spectrum – I do believe there is still risk and we need to be cautious, but I also think I need some normality for my own mental health.
I know I can’t really meet new people (really tough as a singleton!) but I can meet friends and make the most of the ability to have real life conversations again – with no zoom!!!! I can also head to the office every now and then, but I’m not using public transport and there are very few others there. But visits to the hairdresser like I’m doing right now, or the beauticians or my gym when it reopens, are things that I feel others all have strong opinions on.
Are they essential? Probably not. Are they more risky? Yes, no doubt they are, but they are my route to some level of normal. People have questioned why anyone would put themselves at risk like that, but also others have said it wouldn’t be open if not safe and you should get back to normal. How do you know if you are making the right decisions?
My new normal is going to be different to others and I need to make a call on what’s important to me and those I interact with. Everyone needs to be sensible and do what’s right for them and those around them. The problem is the volume of morons – the people burying their heads in the sand, or worse still focusing on themselves and no one else. Why would anyone want to drink in a soho street with hundreds of strangers in the middle of a pandemic? Who would drive 5 hrs to a beach with no space to relax and no facilities to use, with hundreds of strangers in the middle of a pandemic? I find it funny how no one seems to know anyone who did such stupid things – will anyone admit it?
I wrote about the new normal before and also how much the last few months had impacted people living alone, so taking tentative steps to get some kind of life back is exciting. Moving toward a new way of life has heightened awareness of the world around me and it’s struck me how different peoples life’s are – both friends and family, and the public in general. This pandemic has highlighted the extremes. Whether it’s the left versus the right, or the extremes of the feral kids running around and the moronic behaviours of the Covidiots versus the amazing selfless behaviours of our key workers and local community support groups. Everyone has an opinion.
The big issue with this disease is that your actions are there to help others as much as yourself…. do we live in a society of selfless individuals, doing the right thing for others and keeping the world safe? Unfortunately not. But do we have a sizeable number of good people who choose to act with integrity and do good for the wider community? Yes, I think we do and we need to let that mindset grow and see our future reality in a better place.
So for now, I need to be me, a cautious me, a positive me, not a selfish me – maybe just a new me?
And wear a bloody mask!