The Road To Nowhere.



Life The lock-down continues. How has it been for you? For various reasons we're pretty much permanently self-isolating, so I barely been out of the flat for twenty-four days. Twenty-five days by the time you read this probably.  Remember when I began the (now paused) Lockdown Links, how buoyant I seemed and right up for it, for want of a better phrase?  Yes, well, that didn't last long and neither did the spirit of thinking about all of the amazing things I'd be able to do with all of this time stretching ahead of me.  I'll finally be able to read Plato's Republic, I thought, as though that's something I wouldn't already have done.

Turns out captivity wares you down.  Apart from half your brain having to deal with the logistics of knowing when you'll next be able to find a delivery slot and order groceries, it's the constant feeling of threat, of wondering if you're doing enough to stop COVID-19 from stealthily entering the flat through other means.  There's also the feelings of intense paranoia on the occasions when I've had to take a bin bag down to the large bins or collect an Amazon parcel which has been left in the reception area, that the face mask and gloves won't be enough protection, that despite my best efforts it'll worm its way in.

A few sources have mentioned that survivor guilt hasn't set in yet which is why lots of people are finding it so difficult to comprehend the need to follow the lock-down rules.  For my part the guilt is rather more esoteric, that it's taken a pandemic for organisations to open their vaults and for shows which otherwise have been only available to Londoners or who could afford to go to live screenings to have access to some real crown jewels.  Under no other circumstances could I have conceived of seeing the stage version of Fleabag and yet there it is available to stream on Amazon.  People are dying and I'm happy about that.

I have a therapist now.  We were supposed to meet in person somewhere in the city centre, but we're speaking over the phone.  She's working from home.  All of this is must be a strain on her too as she has to deal with our anxieties about the slow apocalypse which has gripped the planet.  After our three weeks together she seems happy with my progress.  I'm a problem solver so when I do have anxiety about something, I find a way to fix it because most of the time there is a solution.  I'm very good at cognitive behavioral therapy in that way apparently.  So why do I still have these physical reactions?  We're going to talk about that next week.

I'm putting on weight which I'm bound to now that my lifestyle has become sedentary but not for wanting to try to get some exercise and attempting to keep away from the cheese sandwiches.  Using the stairwell outside the flat worked for a couple of weeks and was quite the workout, but I've strained the muscles around where I had my hernia operation last year.  Now I'm pacing across the flat, the ten steps between the front door and the back of the kitchen, too and fro for as long as I can before I get too dizzy or my groin starts throbbing.  It's best at night in the dark when my eyes haven't anything to repeatedly fixate on.

And so life in the Shire goes on, very much as it has this past age. Full of its own comings and goings with change coming slowly, if it comes at all.  When will this end or rather when will this end for me?  As it stands even with social distancing until we have a test which solidly confirms we're immune or some such then I don't know if I want to risk leaving the flat and bringing it back.  A vaccine is apparently a year to a year and half away so at this point, I'm feeling a bit like Mark Watney in The Martian, but trying to keep myself busy until someone else sciences the shit out of this.  Take care and stay safe.

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