Last month I saw a lot of my fellow bloggers talk about the subject of one year on from when the COVID-19 pandemic started. For me, a year in lockdown with chronic illnesses has given me a significantly different experience from most people. However, it has been a life-changing time for every single person on this planet. I don’t think there has ever been an event quite like this in our history that’s affected every single country. Even the World Wars, as devastating as they were, were primarily restricted to certain parts of the world. COVID-19 connects us all.
I’ve gone through a massive range of emotions the past year. Right now I can sit here and think logically, writing about how it’s affected everyone and then there have been other times when I’ve been in tears or shaking with rage. I’ve not written about it much other than thoughts in my monthly updates and then my post about how I spend my birthday in lockdown, just as I do every year. That’s because finding the words has been impossible. I’ve been through countless drafts that have gone straight in the bin because I couldn’t find the words to adequately describe how I felt.
Then as I lifted the window blind to watch the snow falling the other day I realised that was it.
For the last year, I’ve been living my life through windows.
Whether it’s been the window next to me right now that looks out onto my road, or the windows of my mother-in-law’s car when she takes me to my appointment at the health centre for treatment every three months. I’ve been seeing the world through windows for a year now. My only communication with people is through windows on my computer. Ok, before the pandemic I was going out much anyway due to my disabilities, but my weekly therapy meeting would be in person rather than me seeing the fellow participants in windows.
In one of those meetings, someone said that they had popped into the new B & N in town, and it made me realise that I have no idea what the world outside looks like. I take the exact same root to and from the health centre every time. Round in a square block that is less than five minutes from my house.
I may sound bitter, and I guess in a way I am. It took a long while for me to miss being able to go out because as I said, I didn’t go out much. But now I just miss the simple freedom of being able to walk down the road without worrying that people aren’t wearing masks. My library is at the end of the road and although it’s closed right now, I miss being able to go to it. I miss that simple freedom.
So yes, I’m alive and I’ve had the first dose of the vaccine. Yes, we’re managing. But even with the vaccine, there’s still a risk because it’s not a cure-all. It just “lessens” how hard the virus hits you. That doesn’t fill me with great confidence, but what other choice is there? There’s nothing else to battle this virus and we can’t keep living our lives hiding indoors forever viewing the world from windows.
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