The Covid-19 pandemic has meant so much change for everyone. When the lockdown happened I thought it would be for a few weeks. Never did I imagine that 5 months later I would be taking my first steps back into the not so familiar world.
As a survivor I work really hard at keeping control in my life. It is important to me that I feel safe. If things challenge this sense of safety my emotional and mental health can be badly affected. Between the danger of Covid and the lockdown, my control over my life has been reduced. At the same time, as we all struggle to maintain the rules of lockdown, my connection to others has also been reduced.
This week I took part in a Zoom meeting with Wise Women. I was surprised at how this affected me. Seeing familiar faces and talking about our experiences of Covid was very upsetting, and other women felt the same. Not in a bad way, but in a way that I was reminded how much I missed being in the company of others. Afterwards I met up with one of the workers we went for a walk in the park, socially distanced of course! Having this human contact was so important. The Zoom meeting had been good, but you cannot replace the opportunity to talk to one another face to face.
As we move through lockdown I look forward to services opening up again. It was important for people to stay home where possible, but this has brought its own challenges for women like me who rely so much on contact with others and that feeling of control in my life. I have missed the gym, the Open Space events, meetings with other women. I live alone, which is normally fine, but this has meant a lot of time by myself during lockdown, with my own thoughts and worries. It is good to be able to share these feelings with other women, who have all struggled in their own way.
Talk of a second wave of infection is scary, not necessarily fearing Covid itself, but moving into another lockdown. I hope that we get some time for all services to open up again and that we have learnt lessons from the last lockdown. It is of course so important to stay safe from Covid, but people have other needs as well, one of which is having human contact with others. As human beings we cannot live in isolation. We are social animals and contact with others supports through difficult times, such as our new life with Covid.