I wrote most of this at 3 am while unable to sleep because my brain felt like it was on fire and I couldn’t calm down. I am equal parts afraid and so so angry.
I am angry at a virus that we know relatively little about, angry at all the people it has taken so far, and angry at the disruption caused. I don’t handle change well, a new routine, a change in a route I take frequently, a different freaking mug, they all spike my anxiety and these are small matters. The uncertainty, the knowledge that I will have to move to my In-Laws house if my partner is exposed at work, the sheer panic I can feel everywhere has taken my anxiety to a whole new level.
And you, all the people panic buying toilet roll, hand soap, random groceries, trolleys full of multipacks of UHT milk so there is none left for anyone else, you are a massive part of this problem.
You had months of warning, you had months to pick up 2 extra tins, bag of pasta or carton of longlife milk whenever you went shopping. Weeks to make sure you have enough hand soap to last if you have to self isolate for 2 weeks or if you become sick. And for f*cks sake maybe sit down and figure out how long a 16 pack of toilet roll lasts, cause for 2 of us and a dog that chews the roll at least once a week a 16 pack lasts at least a month. SO CALM THE HECK DOWN. You all must have a past best towel you could use if it came to it? Or have a shower? Or freaking kitchen towel. This isn’t the end of the world apocalypse, toilet paper will still be there tomorrow.
What about all those who haven’t been paid yet this month, those who can’t carry more than a few days worth of shopping in one go? The elderly or disabled that rely on a carer once a week that are faced with empty shelves and busy shops? Those with young children who now have to cope without basics because greedy, selfish people have bought 2 trolleys worth of food with zero thought for anyone else?
I have never had much faith in humanity but the events and selfishness of these past few weeks have ruined any small amount of faith I had left. Sure there are stories of people coming together as a community to help others but I have seen NONE of this. Just greed and selfishness. And I am angry that all it has taken is one tiny little virus for all of us to abandon pretending to be civilised.
One tiny little virus has bought us all to this. To anxiety levels I have never felt before, even when starting recovery from the fog of bulimia I had numbed myself in for years. I have always struggled with food shopping due to both crowds and temptation but recent events have escalated this further than I ever thought possible. I am genuinely scared, of not buying something and desperately needing it when there is none to be found. I’m scared of being hit or pushed over something so trivial as milk or hand soap.
I am scared of contracting the virus and being unable to have any treatment beyond fluids and oxygen due to being pregnant. I am scared that I will get really sick and someone will have to make the choice between me and my daughter. I am scared for my parents who are only a 3 hour flight away but might as well be on the moon for all the travel restrictions taking place across Europe.
I am scared for my partner working in an hospital, I’m scared for his parents and grandparents, I am scared of losing a friend or family member before their time and being unable to visit, or for saying goodbye to be too risky. I’m scared of a house full of food and scared too of having nothing left.
I have an unborn daughter wriggling like crazy reminding me that I have more than one person to care for now. And over the border in Spain there is a state of emergency. What if they close the border to Gibraltar and we have nothing? We have none of our own food here, totally reliant on imports which in turn relies on passage of goods and open borders.
I am sick of being scared, sick of worrying about getting sick. Tired of trying to stay calm to stop the dog exploding into a furry ball of teeth with a love of chewing feet, and tired of waiting for a future that is so uncertain.
I can’t even drink, or have a cigarette because the smell makes me nauseous. All I have is food because no amount of CBT, interrupting thought patterns and keeping myself busy with small achievements is touching the ball of panic in my chest. So I bought unicorn soap, a family pack of fish fingers and orange squash to let my inner child be free.
I hope after the Global recession and whole countries in mourning we come through with more than just stockpiled toilet roll and worse social anxiety.