In almost 14 weeks I’ve been shielded from the outside world and the threat of Coronavirus. I’m someone who likes to get out and explore or meet up with friends, but I also spend long periods of time at home due to a disability, just not quite this long. Over the last few months I’ve felt even more isolated than I normally do. I’d been keeping up to date with the news and events on social media for any signs of life getting back to normal. Time went by and I got use to being in my safe bubble called home.
Last week the news was announced that people who were being shielded could leave their homes for an hour a day and my reaction wasn’t quite the one I’d expected. I thought I’d be jumping for joy, instead I went into panic mode and my anxiety went through the roof. I wasn’t ready to go rushing out the front door and in to the big wide world, after all there was still a risk of catching the coronavirus.
Finally, on Saturday 13th June I plucked up the courage to leave the house for a short stroll down the road and back. All the time I was getting ready I could feel my anxiety rising and almost changed my mind. Looking back, I’m glad I made it past the garden gate because it did my mental health the world of good.
I’d decided to take a stroll to the nearest park with a flask of coffee and take some outfit shots, thinking that would give me something good to focus on.
But I got half way there and froze. My pulse was racing and it felt like someone had their hands around my neck, all because a woman showed a simple act of kindness. She was coming in the opposite direction and moved far enough into a drive way to let me get past.
I was faced with the new reality and it made me feel utterly disoriented. If you’ve ever watched the start of 28 Days Later or The Walking Dead when the main character comes out of the hospital and sees the world after the virus has taken hold, then you’ll know exactly how I felt.
Thankfully I didn’t give up, we took a slow stroll around the edge of the park, stopping at a couple of benches along the way. Luckily it was fairly quiet and people kept at least two metres away. I gradually became acclimatised to the environment I once took for granted. It was wonderful to hear the sounds of life again.
Adrian and I found a quiet corner with some large rocks which were perfect for me to lay down my blanket and have a few photos taken. The sun was shining down on us as I sipped the coffee I’d taken with me, honestly I felt so happy and relaxed.
I’ve not been out again yet, I know it won’t be easy the next time but I’ve done it once and I’m proud of myself for taking those first steps.