Letters from Cardiff in lockdown: Anonymous #5

Today’s instalment for the Letters from Cardiff in lockdown series comes from an anonymous contributor. Please carry on sending your stories to Letters from Cardiff in lockdown.

Life as we know it has ended, this is what I had written in my journal in those early days in March. Got to find a way of getting through this unsettling period as unscathed as possible. Now seven weeks later I have reread my notes and see patterns emerging.

The first week didn’t seem real but I shopped for more than a single person would normally have in a week so I wouldn’t need to go out for a while. The worst was that my planned trip to England to see my granddaughter had to be cancelled and so far it looks like I might even miss her first birthday unless the rules change. Time I will never get back.

Then things started to speed up, my son lost his job in media, schools closed, and suddenly I was becoming socially isolated. Lots of emotions, up one minute, down the next, felt guilty if I wasn’t leaning new skills, having zoom parties or doing lots of exercises.

l live alone, and have lived in Cardiff for the past six years, having moved from England to be near family. It’s been hard leaving my friends behind and trying to make new ones but gradually that is happening. Who knew that this situation would test how strong those friendships are.

I am happy to say that despite the enforced social distancing I am able to contact both my old and new friends. I have never been one for constant tablet or phone use but it has been invaluable.

The biggest restriction is not being able to travel to meet family and friends.

By mid April I was getting tired of it all, feeling sad, unmotivated. I was starting to feel almost reclusive. Thursday’s seem to be my worst day, maybe as that’s the decision day and you always hope some good news will come. I dread the day if I have to self isolate, for my own sanity my son has kept up visual contact regularly and safely, he has been a lifesaver. I worry about how he will manage if he doesn’t work soon, a mother never stops worrying about her children.

I can’t say the road I live has come together much through this, only a handful of people come out and clap on a Thursday. As a nurse by profession it is disappointing to see this apathy but I am not surprised really, like  most services it’s not until you can’t get it you appreciate them.

I have gone back onto the nursing register but as I haven’t been practising for a number of years I requested to work on non frontline roles. So far no contact has been made with me. I also volunteered for the national request but it’s not for Wales. So I decided to do some volunteer work with a food charity I previously worked with. That didn’t last long as sadly they have a policy now of not letting anyone under 70 with a medical condition work. This is so frustrating as I am very well but I understand.

So now I feel rejected and useless, I can’t look after my grandchildren, I can’t volunteer, I can’t travel out of Wales to see my granddaughter.

We are being told that Covid 19 is here to stay and we must expect to get it at some time. This is my anxiety as none of us know how it will affect us. Now everyone knows someone who had had it or had a relative with it, some recovering, sadly others who haven’t.

Good things I find, I have been walking more, doing more painting and crafting, listening to nature and not just noisy seagulls. Technology has been good, vital I think. I feel for anyone on their own with no access to technology. I’ve appreciated my small garden too.

Bad things are I am eating and drinking too much. I think too much, my loneliness seems too great at times. Watching too much television.

I would like to think when we have a new normal that friends still keep in contact, roads stay quieter and people are still kind to each other, especially those who live alone or have no family. I am lucky I have family and friends albeit spread between Wales and England, and I look forward to getting to see them again.

Take care.

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