Things Change, Things Stay The Same: A Coronavirus Diary

As I’m sure you can guess at this point, June has been another month spent indoors. It’s also been a period of readjustment in all manner of ways after Andrew’s thesis corrections were successfully handed in. It’s such a load off both our minds, and now there’s nothing to be done but wait to hear whether the corrections have been accepted. As planned last month, we did try to do a couple of fun things with our new found spare time; we’ve been sitting next to open widows for weekend breakfasts and picnic dinners, and we did another virtual beer festival. I finally caved and bought some scissors to cut my own hair, which was unplanned but is getting very necessary… stay tuned next month for that inevitable disaster! The last bit of personal news for June is that I sadly didn’t hear back from the Contact Tracing job, which is a shame as I would have loved to have felt useful, but there was apparently an overwhelming response so I can completely understand it.

As far as main news is concerned the Scottish government sent out a consultation to shielders to ask what we wanted and expected from an easing of our restrictions as the initial June 18th deadline loomed. We’d been uneasy as we kept seeing non-disabled shielders making an awful lot of noise about wanting all the current restrictions to be dropped. As much as it stings I’ve been more than prepared to shield for longer if that would be safer, but as ever we fed back that we mainly want the clear and concise messaging which has been previously absent.

Eventually, the week before the aforementioned deadline, shielding was extended from June 18th until July 31st with the indication that past that date it would become a person by person approach. I can’t believe that we’re about to embark on our fourth month of shielding! Before beginning this post I read back over my last update and the negativity pretty much leapt off the screen and slapped me in the face. We still don’t have that route map for shielders that I wanted, not knowing what’s coming next is what I’m finding the hardest to accept and deal with at every step of this process.

And then, just like that, we had an immediate easing of shielding restrictions. On June 18th we were able to go outside for one lot of exercise a day but had to choose a time when no one else was around. Then from June 19th we could meet up with one other household outside. I’ll be honest, even though we are feeling like caged animals, we haven’t been out yet. Our families live hundreds of miles away and we just don’t feel safe to wander about around our busy block. Nice to know we could though, I guess.

We’re at the end of the month now and announcements have started coming thick and fast with a whole host of things opening for the general population in July, and shielders are being told we’ll be given ‘guidance to mitigate risk’. So… like what? No more government backing for staying at home to reduce risk and just head on out with a mask on and you’re all good? Of course that’s alarming, but we’re tying to not worry about something that hasn’t happened yet. Meanwhile everyone seems obsessed with the pub and the hairdressers? Like, they don’t care if they’re putting a low paid worker at risk? It’s honestly some of the most bizarre discourse I’ve ever witnessed in my life, and I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand it.

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