For some of us, lockdown is not over…

Something has been annoying me and I’m not quite sure how to put it into words. It’s the idea that “we all have to get used to the new normal”, without acknowledging that this “normal” can look very very different according to your circumstances.

Right now, in Ireland, the new normal for most looks pretty much like the “old” normal, except that the pubs aren’t open and you sometimes have to wear a mask (though most people still don’t really). Maybe you limit the places you go or the people you see, but not really. Maybe you can’t have the big wedding you always wanted or go to that gig you were looking forward to. And obviously the kids aren’t in school, but it’s the summer holidays anyway. So, yeah, everybody’s a bit weirded out but it’s not really that huge a deal.

Except, for some people, it really is.

Myself and my family have medical conditions that may raise our risk of having a nasty outcome if we catch Covid. We really don’t want to take the risk. And I know some people will think us paranoid, and maybe we are, but that’s life.

It’s been five months since anyone has stepped foot inside our house, apart from one tradesman. In that time, we haven’t set foot inside anyone else’s house either. 90% of my shopping is done online. The only exceptions are essential groceries or visits to the chemist. We haven’t gone on any family walks or even drives. I haven’t spoken in person to an adult apart from my husband. All my other social interactions are exclusively online.

Our local pool is reopening tomorrow. We won’t be going. We used to go once a week and really enjoyed it. We won’t be going for any meals out. Takeout is an occasional treat. No going into town for coffees. No visits to grannies. No going anywhere on holidays, not even a “staycation”. The dog sometimes gets a quick walk but mostly we just throw him the ball in the back garden.

It’s getting a bit tiring to be honest. But the worst part is all the people whinging online that the pubs aren’t open yet and that it’s not really recommended to travel abroad. As the saying goes “they don’t know how lucky they are”.

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