Manchester,UK

A Big Catch Up: My COVID-19 Scare, Blogging And What Comes Next

Hi friends, it’s been a while since you heard from me on a day that wasn’t Sunday or in a post that didn’t come as an end of the month media rundown.

Funny, right? It took me ages to convince myself to start the Sunday series, ON SECOND THOUGHT, but now it seems to be the only thing I’ve been set on since it began nearly two months ago. Well, here is my attempt to change that!

I feel like in many ways you are already caught up on a lot that has been going on in my life because I’ve still kept it rather candid in my Sunday posts, but I think it’s time I let you in on other things that have happened in the past two months.

Next thing I knew I was applying for a test kit online, listening for the door more attentively than I would my retail therapy packages, and following instructions on how to swab my tonsils.

As you already know, in July I decided to swallow my anxiety and go on my first non-essential outing since the COVID-19 lockdown in March. It was something I struggled with internally, stepping out for something ‘unnecessary’, but a part of me felt that it was important I confronted the outside a bit more. I mean, it was bound to happen sooner or later. After all, the restrictions had begun to ease in Manchester, and it seemed like I was the only one who was still living like the world was on fire and my home was the only smoke-free zone.

So, out I went out in a green dress that hadn’t been out of my wardrobe since the winter cold, my leather jacket and my blue mask.
As nights go, it was the most fun in ages and I found solace in the fact that I was in a controlled environment. There were stickers on the floor indicating where people could and couldn’t go, tables were well distanced from each other and the servers were wearing their masks.

Going out was great, perhaps exactly what I needed at that moment, but then a couple of days later the coughs started…
Before that point, I had already met a couple of people and had been out a few more time, but when I think about it, the craziest thing was I didn’t too much about the cough when it started as it wasn’t bad enough to make me worried at all.
Those that know me well know I rarely ever fall sick, so it was worrisome when my cough became more persistent and instead of better, I was getting worse. What tipped me over the edge was definitely how I started having what I could only describe as a ‘weird taste in my mouth’ which made me call the NHS number early on a Sunday morning.

After a couple of questions over the phone, I was told to get a test done. Next thing I knew I was applying for a test kit online, listening for the door more attentively than I would my retail therapy packages, and following instructions on how to swab my tonsils.

It was some of the most daunting days of my life. The worst part of the whole experience was probably waiting for the results to be out.

Tick tock. Tick tock – time couldn’t go any slower.

Many thoughts flooded my mind. ‘What if I have it? What if I’ve given to everybody in the house? What if my symptoms get worse? Was I ever reckless when I was out?’
I guess the YouTube videos weren’t making things any better either. Who knew one could watch so many videos titled ‘My COVID-19 experience’ in only a few hours?

The day after the test I stayed glued to my phone waiting for text messages and refreshing my emails every 20 minutes. Nothing came.
The following day, the first thing I did was check my phone and there it was, the text message I was anxious to receive. I sounded a huge sigh of relief when I read the results. It was probably the first time I was thrilled to fail a test as it now meant I could finally be in the same room with my family after days of locking myself up in my room except to go to the bathroom.

In those days I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions and I can’t even imagine what people go through when they get the opposite result that I did. Before getting my results, there was a sense of fear, guilt and anxiety that I couldn’t shake. The endless questions in my head couldn’t find a resting place and the uncertainty was painfully unbearable.

Getting an appointment at the GP these days is as difficult as running a marathon so I stopped trying when I was told to just go to a pharmacy and buy a syrup. I spent those days in bed, following my sister’s guidelines to drink a ton of lemon and water and sleep a lot. The cough carried on persistently for days and was especially continuous whenever I started speaking to the point that I got used to having it around and didn’t realize when it stopped.

Till now I still have no idea what was wrong with me, maybe a crazy odd cold or something…

You guys know I’ve been thinking about the ins and outs of all that has happened this year, but the whole experience definitely put even more on my mind.
I’ve been out and about a few times since then, not because I’m necessarily confident about the current situation, but mainly for the sole fact that nothing is for sure and, from the way things are going I’m not optimistic that things will go back to ‘normal’ anytime soon.

Rachy Lewis

On blogging…

As I stated earlier, you might be wondering what happened in regard to the other content I used to release more often during the week so I thought I’d give you some insight into that too.

Starting a Sunday series was a pretty big deal for me and taking the steps to create one took weeks of pondering and hesitation. The idea sounded great to me in theory, but I knew there would have had to be a level of commitment I had to be ready for before taking on the challenge because that was what it was essentially, a challenge. As much I love to write, I had to guarantee that every week on the same day I would have something up and ready to go and I didn’t want to fail at it.

So far so good I must say! Since then I’ve written posts on a variety of topics already. From the hard truth that sometimes we don’t get second chances and feeling a great sense of fatigue to exploring the notion of online personas and feeling uninspired.

It’s been a fun experience, frankly, getting to write on a regular schedule but the best part has been receiving your feedback on the things I write as this community we’ve created continues to grow. There is nothing that brings me more joy than seeing a comment under a post that took hours to craft or getting a new follower on Bloglovin. The fact that YOU take those precious 10 minutes out your day to read my words really do make a difference and I just thought YOU should know that.

On what comes next…

Anything can happen – this year is proof of that. One moment you are excited to take on the world ahead of you, the next, the world is taking you under and there’s nothing you can do to avoid being swept away.
Simultaneously, however, this year has been the real wake up call no one asked for. A lot of people got to finally take it slow and enjoy the slower pace of life.

I made only one resolution at the beginning of the year as I decided to ditch the long wishful list of unrealistic goals I’d eventually forget two months in.
To give up on fear.
That was my one and only desire for 2020, and yet it gave me so much to be fearful of. If only I knew back then, right?
So, what next… Well, September is already around the corner although the chilly weather seems to be a few steps ahead. I actually contemplated turning on the heating two days ago as I swapped my t-shirt and shorts for a large hoodie.

There is much to look forward to and so much I’m working towards. I’m less sure about how things will turn out as days come and go, but I’ll continue to share my journey with you. Are you in for the ride?

Your restless romantic roamer

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4 responses to “A Big Catch Up: My COVID-19 Scare, Blogging And What Comes Next”

  1. Susan says:

    So glad you’re okay, sounds so scary ! I’ve been feeling exactly the same and so conflicted, I almost feel like I need to go outside and have social interactions but my anxiety is so crippling at times I can’t do it. I went out to town for the first time last week and it was honestly so much fun, I felt amazing ! But then the next day I felt so scared again sigh

    Susan Books Etc

    • rachylewis says:

      It was scary, but feeling great now. Thank you so much.
      Going out is very conflicting as you said. I don’t know when things will get better but I’m sure we just have to ease ourselves into it. That’s the best we can do!

  2. Sian says:

    Gosh, this sounds terrifying. I, like you, have spent the majority of my time inside since March, and – if I’m honest – can’t see much about that changing until some time into next year. It’s rough. I’m desperate to be out again, just because I think it helps my mental health immeasurably, but I’m so worried about being in a similar situation to what you experienced that I’m not doing anything besides go for a run, walk or drive in the car. I’m so glad to hear it was just a scare though! xxx

    • rachylewis says:

      Thank you, love, I was so glad to get that test result back. It was a heck of a relief! I totally understand what you mean and I’m so scared to see what the aftermath of all this will be mentally. xx

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