Manchester, UK

The Isolation Diaries – Is It Really Safe Out There?

I know the country is slowly opening up and therefore you might be thinking it’s time to put this series on the shelves, but I definitely do not feel that way at all.

Last time we caught up on my quarantine shenanigans in May, I was doing a lot better. I felt a sense of calm because I was beginning to get somewhat used to the situation before us. Wearing a mask had become second nature like checking I have the keys to the house before heading out. Keeping my hands to myself in public places became easier to do and although I missed the gym really badly, I was becoming more aware that I wouldn’t be seeing that green logo on the wall anytime soon.
Whilst, that post was quite positive, it was also very self-conscious if I may say so myself. I accepted the uncertainty and irregular nature of my feelings. I accepted that the waves could crash once more like they had done before in the past, and I knew it was very possible that once again I’d be left to drown in deep emotions.
I was right. After that post, I had some good days when I danced for no reason, but I also had some terrible ones too. Life in lockdown was complicated at best and I have often expressed my desire for a bit of normalcy a few times, but is it time for us to get out there?
As much as I love that the country is reopening and we are slowly beginning to get some insight into what the next few months could hold, I’ve been feeling more anxiety than excitement to go out there again. Plus, I still have no trust that those in power are looking out for us anyway!

Me? I haven’t been out much except to get to Asda and back to buy ‘a few stuff’ that always turn out to be a lot of stuff. The first non-essential outing I thought I should go to is coming up and so is my anxiety about it. Is it safe enough for us to be roaming freely out there? Can we trust people to keep to the rules and socially distance when they have to?
I mean, we live in a world where people still deny the severity of the situation and the policies and consensus on mask-wearing have taken a highly political tone, so excuse me if I’m not exuding extreme confidence in our systems.

In the same way, though, I do wonder when will it truly be safe out there and can we afford to halt the economy entirely until the virus is completely contained?

Last year the idea of staying at home with countless hours to binge on Netflix would have felt ideal and stress-free. In reality, being in the same place all the time starts to feel claustrophobic pretty quickly. The endless need to constantly entertain one’s self can easily become a chore they wish to avoid.
As many of us, learned real fast during the state of lockdown, it’s not the great big things we end up missing when we are in desperate and difficult situations, but it’s the small things.
For me, it’s the sound of the tram when it reaches my stop and the doors open wide to welcome me inside. I miss the buzzing city of Manchester on a rainy day as I drift in and out of stores with no real list to tick off. Then there’s the distinct smell in the gym swimming pool that tell all of my senses that it’s time to go hard or go home. I miss the trips by train to Coventry and back, and even – yes – the long lines in Costa during busy afternoons.

Now, I’ll be making my return to the outside world very slowly and with my eyes wide open. I’ll be testing the waters, dipping my bare feet gently in and out to feel it on my skin. I won’t dive in headfirst; unaware or impatiently but will look around attentively with hope on my mind and faith that one day I’ll no longer be afraid of what’s outside.

Your restless romantic roamer

What things are you looking forward to doing as the lockdown eases?

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