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Covid-19 - When will I get my confidence back?


glowlight
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I'm so glad for you Glowlight.

 

When I went to Aston Hall in Birmingham on 20th September it did me the world of good.  I discovered a new place and saw a fabulous exhibition of costumes and felt normal!

 

I'm glad I've got a dog to make sure I keep walking (but I'm not looking forward to it today as it is currently lashing down!).

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There seems a very different feel to the second lockdown given unlimited exercise and encouragement to enjoy the outdoors. Still unsure what’s an acceptable car journey for a walk but as the nearest supermarket is 12 miles (18 miles if you want a petrol station), that keeps many of my ‘local’ walks open.

 

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Here’s Saturday’s early morning view from Skiddaw, mists clearing, and ridge after ridge of inviting fells beyond Keswick and Derwent Water. The far fells are 20 miles away (much further by road) but I’m spoilt for choice with reasonably local walks. In the first lockdown I very much kept to walking from home and remember looking enviously towards the fells during the fabulous Spring. I do hope others are finding second lockdown a little easier.

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The National trust and forestry commission have kept their car parks and walks open this time (and takeaway cafe facilities). Which is a really positive thing for those of us without beautiful country walks on our doorstep! It doesn’t really feel like a ‘lockdown’ although obviously there are more restrictions than there were. 

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I believe that was a deliberate decision by the govt., along with things like shops staying open for click and collect (although I'm still failing to see how a carpet shop can count as "essential"!)  I wonder if there are any I can access by public transport - oh, wait, I'm supposed not to be making non-essential journeys, aren't I? :( 

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Yes, but I suppose if they're outside (all the shops I've seen doing it have tables across their front doors so that the customers can't enter, and the staff stand behind them) it may not matter so much if you're just passing people for a few seconds - or standing in a socially-distanced queue.

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I feel that the rules in this lockdown are much more pragmatic - reflecting where the highest risk of exposure is likely to take place.

 

I think (hope) they will be easier for folk to follow (even those who stretch the rules, as in @Jane's example, will still be reducing the risk of spreading the virus compared with if they were meeting inside a cafe or restaurant). 

 

I am so lucky that walking is one of my favourite things to do.  I can't imagine how difficult life must be if you don't enjoy walking!

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3 hours ago, glowlight said:

I am so lucky that walking is one of my favourite things to do.  I can't imagine how difficult life must be if you don't enjoy walking!

 

Or, of course, if you are unable to walk for whatever reason.

 

Jan, I rather agree with you.  The local upholsterers were closed in the first lockdown - now they're open as they count as "manufacturing".  The local jewellers is sort-of open - for repairs and the like.  Rymans was open - because it's a DHL centre.   The local shoe shop had lights on - although they may not actually have been "open" to the public, I suppose.  Robert Dyas were closed during the first lockdown, despite being significantly a hardware store and therefore entitled to open, but they're open now.  Oddly, though, mobile phone shops are closed.  Libraries are open, albeit restricted hours and access.  When I walk down the local high street, charity shops aside, it's almost a question of it being quicker to count which shops aren't open.  Almost makes me feel I ought to go out and patronise them, which is NOT the point of the exercise!  And if we're not supposed to go out, what's the point of them being open?  It's distinctly confusing.

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I have an hours drive to work leaving home at 6.40 am. The three days I’ve worked since this lockdown began the traffic has been as heavy as normal if not heavier. There are always a lot of freight trucks from Felixstowe but this is extra cars. 

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Could be but we’ve very intermittent public transport - train service from main towns but for most of us an 40 plus minute drive to a station. Local buses stopped a few decades ago and were only once or twice a week before that. 
 

I didn’t work in last lockdown so can’t compare but thought workplace car park seemed emptier at end of day. 

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  • 1 month later...

I know we missed so many Nutcracker live performances or live-streaming but we’re enjoying some fabulous winter weather in the Lake District in recent days. Many people out on the fells yesterday and I couldn’t help but think we’re still finding our magical Nutcracker journeys. Here a couple of walkers return to Whinlatter Forest:

 

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I was also very taken with a young girl enjoying the winter wonderland with her father heading for Lord’s Seat, dressed for winter walking including spikes, fabulous for walking over frozen ground and ice:


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Here we go again...how are folk feeling about the gradual easing of restrictions?

 

I am determined to be more bold this time as I feel I missed opportunities to spend time with family last summer.

 

Today we went to a busy outdoor market.  I found the crowds, the noise and the proximity of other people very strange and slightly daunting.  But I really enjoyed the amazing grilled cheese sandwich on artisan bread.

 

 

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All I can say is thank goodness I've got a Chipdog who has made me go out every day for his walkies.

 

I'm nervous thinking about public transport and I'm nervous/excited about going into non-essential shops again.

 

I can't wait to get back into a theatre but I will probably be driving when I could have gone by train.  To that end I won't be coming to London for a while yet.

 

Stay safe out there folks!

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3 hours ago, Jan McNulty said:

All I can say is thank goodness I've got a Chipdog who has made me go out every day for his walkies.

 

I'm nervous thinking about public transport and I'm nervous/excited about going into non-essential shops again.

 

I can't wait to get back into a theatre but I will probably be driving when I could have gone by train.  To that end I won't be coming to London for a while yet.

 

Stay safe out there folks!

 I have similar thoughts  

 i'm not sure i'll do London  this year  although we'll see in the Autumn 

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By the Autumn most people will have had two vaccinations. So unless there is some horrible new variant around by then I’m sure it will be pretty safe. 
I went into London last September ( from Brighton) with no vaccines and felt pretty safe but everyone was observing Covid rules so lots of spacing etc. 
I’m going to London twice in early May and early June before it goes possibly mad after June 21st. I would be nervous of crowded transport but that’s about the only thing so will see how it goes after then. 
I didn’t use the tube though ...buses were okay as you could open windows etc and were not crowded back then. 
Some interesting news is that two very close friends of mine in their 70’s after one vaccination did unexpectedly catch Covid (a few weeks ago) ....caught from their daughter who has just had a second baby....They thought they had caught bad colds but daughter rang who had tested positive as lost her sense of taste and smell ....and so they went for drive through Covid tests and they were positive too 😳 However neither was that ill and symptoms only lasted a week.  Their daughter has also fully recovered.   They’ve now had their second jabs so should have lots of anti bodies at least!! 
I hope this proves the vaccinations are working really well as both have underlying health conditions and are absolutely fine now though I haven’t seen them for 18 months!! Big birthday party in July coming up!!! 
Their daughter is a health care worker (special nurse) so had also had one vaccination at the time ( her husband though has not yet had his first one as only in 30’s.) 

So I take this as a positive .....you might still catch it (if in close enough contact) but you probably will not be very ill if vaccinated. 
I can definitely understand people being wary if have not had their two doses though. 

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The vaccine lowers your risk of getting covid by about 50%, it lowers your viral load by about 4 times so you are a lot less likely to get very sick or pass it on. On a personal level I feel ok as I’ve been vaccinated and I’m not in a very high risk category, but more worried that people will go mad and we’ll end up in another lock down! I’ve really struggled with this one and feel totally spent

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  • 1 month later...

I've been doing a little bit more each week but it still all feels a bit weird.

 

I'm doing the home lateral flow tests twice a week now.

 

There were some very rude, non-mask-wearing people in Marks and Spencer's food hall last week which I found very unsettling.  One dreadful woman wanted to get past the queue I was standing in for the till and barged the elderly lady behind me out of the way.  The poor lady fell into me and was absolutely mortified although it wasn't her fault.

 

This week I went to a carvery with one niece and today had lunch in town with the other - both were really relaxed and enjoyable occasions.

 

I'm still not using public transport though.

 

I thought I would be more relaxed about the gradual release of lockdown as I do go out twice a day every day with my dog.

 

Oh well I'm looking forward to live ballet next week!!!

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I've been to a few ballet performances now, and feel fairly confident (as I've been 'double dipped' on the vaccination front) - measures taken by the theatres have been very good, it seems to me. And of course, the sadly restricted numbers mean you're never really 'crowded out', so to speak. Travelling by train has been fine, as the carriages seem relatively empty when I've been using them (against the flow in rush hour going up to London, and then between 9 and 10 on the way home). Even major stations like London Bridge, and Farringdon or Charing Cross, have been very quiet relatively speaking, to what they would be normally. And the tube from Angel to London Bridge at 9-sh has been 80% empty. The only slightly uncomfortable travel option is the tram, which always seems busy - I used it yesterday evening to/from Wimbledon for the train to Esher when I went to the races at Sandown Park. Sandown had it pretty much spot on - wear a mask indoors, or if you were in the parade ring/paddock, otherwise, feel free not to. If you were eating or drinking, you had to sit down to do so, which was great, as the level of wide-boy drunkeness reduced to almost zero. As the crowd wasn't anywhere near capacity, and they had opened up all the enclosures so plenty of room - it created a very relaxed atmosphere in the springtime, evening sunshine. A pity it can't be like that all the time (they need the cash!). Shame I didn't back a winner though!

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I am definitely more bold this time around.  Went inside 2 different cafés the first weekend we were allowed to, and planning an indoor meet up with by parents this weekend.

 

I think it is partly that I, and most people I meet have now had at least one vaccination, and I know that many people are taking regular lateral flow tests.

 

I am also watching the stats very closely and making personal 'risk assessments' on this basis.

 

I feel I missed out last summer - I could have had more of a life but chose not too because I was ultra cautious.  I think that has particularly had a negative effect on my parents because they have become very socially isolated so I am determined, if nothing else, to spend time with them.

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Very much enjoyed an outdoor lunch with friends the other day. It would have been months since sharing a meal and despite the unfamiliarity of social eating took the high risk strategy of eating a bacon sandwich - fortunately no Ed Miliband moment.

 

Having had my second jab and booked a ticket for next week’s rehearsal, I’m going to try a day trip to London. I’d almost given up as when asked for seating preferences I couldn’t book an aisle seat on the train and didn’t want to run the risk of being hemmed in for 3+ hours but then I realised that social distancing means that no one can sit in an aisle seat. If all goes well, I’ll have a second day trip later in June and then hopefully book overnight trips for the new season.
 

It’s much safer on the fells but even when walking it can feel a bit odd at times. Dozens of people on Scafell Pike and queuing to get on the summit cairn yesterday but no one at the Eskdale cairn a hundred or so yards away and one of the most dramatic views in the Lake District, a fabulous lunch spot.

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I just had a few days away which involved taking the train to London Blackfriars and then walking to Waterloo- ( good way of avoiding the tube)  When I got off, and saw St Paul's over the river, I burst into tears, which was v embarrassing and awkward in a mask:  what a twit! I am a native Londoner and it has been so strange and sad to have had 14 months without going there. Like others posting here I now wonder why I didn't let myself have more of a life, but - who knows, it has been a difficult call.

 

 

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I live in London and I am not fearful.  I am very fatalistic about life in general...I could kill or be killed every time I get into my car, but that doesn't mean I stay in and don't do it.  I wear my mask where I have to.  I have been on crowded tubes four times since May 17th.  Strangers now sit next to each other on the tube again, and that doesn't bother me at all.  Most people are good about wearing masks, but I am noticing more and more that people are starting to not be as diligent about wearing them.  A friend of mine went to a West End theatre a few days ago and the stalls were pretty packed;  nowhere near the strict approach that the ROH and other venues have.  At the end of this event, people were up dancing and from what I could see, not many were in masks.  I was in a Co-op yesterday and there were many teenagers in there in their school break, and not one of them had a mask on.  No-one said anything to them.   I have been double jabbed now but that hasn't affected me psychologically.  I am very sorry to see how many people are scared to go forth and live normally again...considering that we will have to co-exist with this virus and its future mutations, I hope that they can regain their confidence soon.  It made me feel strangely happy when I went to the West End on May 19th for the first time since December.  There were loads of people around and lots of traffic.  It didn't scare me;  it gave me confidence that others have confidence and want to start living again.  I went into shops and I have been to restaurants twice since May 17th.  I have hugged people.  This has all made me happy, not fearful.  I hope that people who are fearful and tentative can overcome it soon.    We have all already lost enough, and enough time.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Having, over the past couple of weeks, been into both Charing Cross and Victoria rail stations during the evening rush hour, I've still been quite surprised at just how quiet things still are - both were more like lunch hour in normal times.  The (District line) tube was a different matter - that was still fairly crowded (I haven't dared brave the deep lines yet).  I'd suggest that if people are still a bit uncomfortable - and live in London - they might want to try it out at the moment, before anything else opens up (we hope) and it gets busier.  Certainly the roads around the Strand/Covent Garden aren't anything like normal rush hour at the moment.

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It was heaving last week but might have been the combination of school holidays and sunny weather! Very much busier than last summer, I was quite surprised. 

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I've been using my local second-hand bookshop to ease back into things. It's a place I feel comfortable and is usually quite quiet. I've had social anxiety for a few years, and it's worsened in the pandemic, but I'm starting small and hoping to build back up to bigger events and places

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