10th May 2020
I’m bored of being bored. I’m tired of my brain feeling like it’s made of porridge, like it’s atrophying from the lack of stimulation. I’m fed up of seeing reports of people flouting lockdown rules, and I’m simultaneously angry at what a nation of snitches we’ve become. We’re all curtain twitchers these days. “Is Margaret across the road really going out AGAIN? That’s the second time today!” “I’m sure Jim never used to walk his dog this much before lockdown.”
And you know, I think above all, I’m sick of the relentless optimists who keep trying to tout this whole lockdown period as some fecund field of personal growth. It’s not. We can’t all spend our time meditating and making sourdough bread, Sandra. For a start, there’s still no flour.
I didn’t think that my mental health was going to be too affected by all this. I felt completely fine for the first month and a half. And now it’s been two months, and it’s not fine any more. I miss seeing people without the barrier of a screen between us. I video call people and I want to step right through that screen.
But that all said, I’m glad I live in Wales. Boris Johnson has just spoken of lifting some of the restrictions in England, and now the slogan is ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’. Which is yet another example of the rock solid, completely unmistakable guidance with no room whatsoever for varied and conflicting interpretations that the government has been trotting out. (I jest; the guidance is flimsier than filo pastry.) ‘Stay alert’? What does that even mean? Keep your eyes peeled for that invisible virus? It’s ridiculous.
In Wales, our lockdown has been officially extended for another 3 weeks, and as much as my heart sank when I first read that, I’m grateful for it now. We’re absolutely not ready to start lifting restrictions, as hard as it is to live under them. Just yesterday, on May 9th, there were 3896 new cases confirmed in the UK (and 95,845 new cases worldwide, which means we had 4% of new confirmed cases on May 9th.) And again as of yesterday, the death toll worldwide was confirmed at 279,000 (although who knows what the real number is.) The UK’s proportion of that is confirmed at 31,587 (and again, the real figure is likely many more.) That means that, according to the confirmed case figures, the UK has had just over 11% of the world’s deaths from Covid-19. And yet Boris wants to start easing restrictions.
I’m fed up, frustrated, bored, and cranky, but at least I’m not in England.