This week I was supposed to be on holiday in sunny Spain. Because of Covid -19 this hasn’t happened and it is not likely to happen any time soon. Even though we were not going away, me and my family decided to try and have a few days out together. Yesterday we decided to go to Skegness, which is a popular town on the coast of England. We like it there and go there most years at some point, just for the day. We knew it would not be the same as usual because of all of the social distancing and restrictions, but we thought a nice day by the sea would do us all good. In my home city of Sheffield, things have been getting busier over the last few months, but still remaining quite safe. This is just my experience, I have not been out as often as some people who may feel differently. Compared to what we witnessed yesterday it is extremely safe in Sheffield.
We thought that maybe it would be a little quieter than it normally is this time of year and that we would feel fairly safe from the virus. We were so very wrong. During the whole of this pandemic I have never felt more at risk. There were so many people. Going into bars and cafes felt quite safe because they were sticking to the safety measures quite well. One place we went to asked for our contact details as soon as we walked through the door. This was all very reassuring and felt quite normal in these circumstances. However, walking on the street was absolute chaos. There were so many people, which made it impossible to stick to social distancing. I use a guide cane which is supposed to make people aware in normal circumstances that I need space and time to do whatever I am doing. It is supposed to encourage people to not come to close so that I don’t feel disorientated or anxious. Even taking into account the social distancing rules, my cane was completely useless yesterday. People even bumped into me as they rushed passed me. The other thing is, hardly anybody was wearing face coverings. It was impossible to stick to half a metre distancing and still nobody was courteous enough to wear face coverings to protect the people around them.
I really hate face coverings. They make my glasses steam up and sometimes trigger my post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But even so, I still wear one. When my glasses steam up and I struggle to see even more, I take off my glasses and leave my face covered if I am not able to keep my distance. I understand that some people are exempt from wearing one and I would never question anybody who wasn’t wearing one. But the hundreds of people dashing passed me yesterday WERE NOT ALL EXEMPT!!! To start with I found it a huge struggle to wear a face covering, just wearing it for a minute triggered my PTSD and it felt unbearable. But there is no choice in this. We either get freedom and wear a face covering, or we don’t wear one and we go back into lockdown. As much as I hate the face coverings, it is worth it to have a little bit of freedom and be able to go out. Lockdown messed up my mental health a lot, I dread the thought of us going into another one. But going on recent news and what I experienced yesterday, that is the way we are heading.
Please take social distancing and hygiene measures seriously before it is to late. We will end up back in lockdown and more lives will be lost if we carry on like this. Covid-19 is NOT over and it will not be over for a long time. We HAVE to learn to live in this new way until it is.
xx ❤ xx