We find ourselves in the middle of another lockdown situation, admittedly not as rigid as earlier this year and one which hopefully will end at the beginning of December.
I live in the Bradford district which has been subject to restrictions for some time so it is not so much of a radical change as it must be for people living in other areas such as Craven.
This lockdown feels to be proving more challenging than the first. At the end of March people were only too willing to pull up the drawbridge in the interests of safety and in the belief that life would return to normal. There were murmurings of a second wave but also hope that sacrifices earlier in the year would prevent Coronavirus from stealing Christmas.
People will make decisions based on their beliefs and circumstances, irrespective of guidance and legal requirements. When making decisions about what is ok to do and what is, “against the rules,” it isn’t clear cut. Regulations are often followed by a, ‘but’ which is not only confusing, also sends conflicting messages. The most challenging requests or rulings can be respected if the reasoning is understood. We understand the need to halt the virus from spreading, to protect, individuals, the vulnerable and communities. We are aware of the strain on the NHS and the need to prevent saturation of services and save staff from burnout. As someone recovering from COVID my priorities are getting better, staying well and safeguarding loved ones from the virus. Seeing a handful of loved ones at Christmas looks like being a possibility from a government perspective, however, infection risk remains, leaving difficult decisions to be made that may have consequences in the new year.
I am a business owner and completely understand the economic implications and pressures facing independent businesses during lockdown and the hardship faced during 2020. Balancing financial responsibilities and health is like juggling with wet soap.
Existing issues are amplified during the pandemic and feelings are heightened. Emotional resilience has been depleted, which is completely understandable. Managing loss and separation was challenging before COVID but being prevented from accessing support from a friendly face in a time of bereavement is unthinkable. The emotional tussle of being separated from family and friends is difficult to manage and a loss in itself. The inability to express worries and concerns with trusted support networks in a face to face capacity is tough. Sometimes it’s about giving yourself permission to be fed up or acknowledge feelings of unfairness, it’s not about giving up, just moving to a place of acceptance that it’s a rough patch but will pass.
This is a new, unchartered experience for us all, as time passes new information, both good and bad is being discovered, making the future an unknown terrain. This proves difficult in terms of planning and can create feelings of insecurity and of being unsafe for all kinds of reasons. We can only make decisions based on the information placed in front of us at any given moment. In an uncertain landscape, even the simplest choices can fox us and have us doubting our judgement and ability to make good decisions. It is crucial to remember these are thoughts and feelings not fact or truth. Managing and adapting to change is never easy particularly when it is out of our control and without support mechanisms to negotiate a new path.
There is “cautious optimism” of a vaccine providing some promise of a departure from the extraordinary and a gradual return to a new ordinary. The world might be a topsy turvy place but it continues to turn and it is worth bearing in mind that change is inevitable even in the harshest circumstances.