Survival Mode Activated

I have a cold. No it’s not coronavirus. Yes I’m sure. Well if you must know I took a test and it was negative. I was confident though that it was just a normal cold kindly passed to me by my son after he picked it up at nursery. He had several days off nursery due to excessive snot and when all the phlegm started to make him cough at times too I knew we had to get tested. Understandably our nursery and school exclude students with coughs for 10 days unless they have a negative COVID test and it would be nice for him to be there for at least a few of the days I’m paying for this month.

A hand holding some tissues on a pale blue cushion

Does anyone else feel they have to explain every illness at the moment? If you cough or sneeze in public everyone understandably takes a step back. I mention any symptoms on social media and people suggest it might be Coronavirus. It’s not helped that when people genuinely have this world changing virus some people have no symptoms, some mild and others are knocked right out with it. And the symptoms can be pretty much anything. Tiredness? Check. I’ve had that continuously since I became a mother, if not before. Headaches? Yes regularly most of my life. Coughing? I have coughed at least once most days for the last year which would definitely count as persistent. 

As someone with health anxiety I seem to constantly have something mildly wrong with me, but taking a Coronavirus test each time would be a little excessive, although now as a member of a household with school going children I am entitled to home test kits and requested to do 2 lateral flow tests a week. Whoopee. 

I think I have only done 5 swabs for Covid so far, but it has already reached the stage that as soon as I raise the swab stick near my face I start to gag in anticipation of rubbing it on my tonsils. I wont be surprised if people develop phobias of cotton buds after this, but that will be no bad thing as it will go a little way to counteract the excessive plastic consumption of the past year. 

A year ago, maybe 18 months, there was a huge appetite for reducing waste. Everyone wanted to use less plastic and be more eco friendly. As lockdown hit last year it became every man for themselves. Basic necessities became in short supply and as a country we have had to massively increase the disposables in an attempt to keep us all safer. From the single use face masks and gloves to all those bottles of hand gel it makes my heartache for the waste. It’s a necessary sacrifice though isn’t it? We are trying to prevent deaths now so the longer term future of our planet becomes less important. It’s human nature, as is apparently stock piling pasta and loo roll and baking bread. We do what we can to survive.

My survival mode seems to be eating non stop and hiding away. I wish I was one of those people who lose interest in eating when depressed or anxious, but all emotions lead to me eating more: sadness, boredom, anger. I’m scared to step on the scales to find out the full impact of the latest bout of homeschooling, but I know from how tight my clothes are it is not good. I am heavier now than any time in my life other than full term pregnancy and it doesn’t feel nice. On the few days my children were all at school/ nursery in March (before the germs hit), I did something about it. I exercised 4 days in a row. And then BB was home full of snot: I felt trapped and miserable and I ate continuously. 

While many people have found positives in lockdown, I have felt really low at times recently. I have had my own battle for survival and if eating my cupboards bare helps me get through these dark times then so be it. Much like how as a country we are fighting a more immediate fight and ignoring the long term consequences I am doing the same with me. Only with less toilet roll. The belief is the long term impact wont be too bad and that a brighter future will give an opportunity to make up for the current behaviour. I hope that is true, but right now I’m going to go eat a doughnut.

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