The P-Word

Panic! I have something called General Anxiety Disorder. I’ve had it for a lot of years and, basically, I exist in a near permanent state of anxiety, to one degree or another. Silly things like having to talk on the phone to someone I don’t know or having to go on a bus. Many of us do this thing called ‘catastrophizing’ which is, essentially, imagining the worst possible scenario for any given situation – even I didn’t see this coming when the news from China broke!

So, I just wanted to say that it’s okay to feel anxious or panicky about the situation. Change is scary and sudden change is scarier still. We should all be staying at home, if at all possible. As I keep saying, social distancing is for those that have to go out, to keep them as safe as possible, but if you don’t need to go out, you should practice social isolation. That doesn’t mean you can’t sit in your garden or stick your head out of an open window to get some fresh air. It doesn’t mean you can’t talk to people online (email, social media or messenger), Skype, etc (or even an old-fashioned phone call).

Because people have been a bit lax about listening to guidelines (they have been pretty ambiguous), I predict a rise in scarier stories in the press – the stories about the preparations that are in place IF we don’t look after one another and stay at home. So, if you’re a panicker, like me, remember that this is designed to scare you. It’s supposed to make you think about the worst case scenario, so we don’t get in to a situation where the army is deployed to keep us in line. It’s much nicer if we come to the conclusion that we’re safer at home, our families are safer, our vulnerable are safer, our countries are safer. If you feel stressed or panicky, talk it through with someone. Say what you’re scared of and listen to how many people say, ‘Me too!’ We’re all in this crazy situation together.

My husband is back at work this week, after a week’s holiday, so I can’t practise social isolation as I’d prefer so we have a procedure in place to minimise risk: in through back door, strip work clothes – straight in the washer, disinfect bag, wash hands and then upstairs in to the bath. We’ll be on separate sofas and in separate bedrooms for the duration. It’s all very weird but we have to be willing to do whatever it takes to get us through this as quickly, and as SAFELY, as possible. 

Take care and stay safe. x