Finding My ‘New Normal’ as Lockdown Restrictions Ease
It has started … the period I have been uncertain about. Restrictions are starting to ease.
I have been shielding for over three months, during which my employer placed me on the furlough scheme. Many people across the country are in a similar scenario during this lockdown. The government has contributed to our salaries due to a high risk of infection.
This lockdown is undoubtedly taking a toll on the economy and something has got to give. The government can only support us for so long; eventually, steps will be taken to get money circulating again.
As fewer people test positive for the virus, authorities are encouraged to ease restrictions. Businesses and workplaces have started to reopen, and groups of people have started to meet up.
This week I received a letter stating that the government will soon advise a “pause” on shielding.
The majority of people are looking forward to the idea of things returning to normal. Several people (myself included) are excited to engage in activities that have not been available for a while. For example, I am looking forward to my first post-lockdown gym session, I can’t wait to eat in a restaurant, and I am in dire need of a mani-pedi. But realistically, for me, what does a new normal look like? I’ve realized that for the foreseeable future we will all be experiencing a different type of normal.
Lockdown restrictions are easing because there are fewer people testing positive for the virus, and the National Health Service now has a greater capacity to deal with those who do catch it. Simply put, the curve has been flattened and there are enough hospital beds for patients. Also, many places still enforce some sort of social distancing protocol and extra safety precautions. However, for someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, all of that is not reassuring enough.
Maybe I am being excessive, but the coronavirus is still an issue. Even if the rate of infection is lower, I could still catch the virus once I “rejoin society,” and its effect on my body could be just as detrimental as when the lockdown started.
The guidance from the government to pause shielding is advisory. However, I worry that eventually I will feel pressured to leave the safety of my home and assume my previous responsibilities as a working adult. The pressure is even there from friends I haven’t seen in a while. I would love to meet up with them! However, it’s times like this I have to remember what is important. I need to prioritize myself and act accordingly. What’s more important than your health? So, when things open up again, chances are that I will still be indoors.
How do you feel about the lockdown restrictions easing and things going back to normal? Let me know in the comments below.
Note: Sickle Cell Anemia News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sickle Cell Anemia News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sickle cell anemia.