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Crawling out of isolation

They’re calling it our ‘re-entry,’ aren’t they? Which I could do without. The reality of crawling out of lockdown like a neurotic swamp creature is unnerving enough, without them giving it a label that conjures up a Mitfordesque re-entry into society vibe: ballrooms, hot-housed flowers and wasp-waists. Actually, it’s a grubby house, snack-inflated midriffs and pounding hearts.

Is it just me? No, it’s never just me. It’s you too, isn’t it? Wondering if we are meant to emerge somehow reinvented rather than reduced in spirit, if not in size. And how scared are we supposed to be? About this disease? About the world? Can someone come and appropriately set my dread levels please? Because I seem to veer from wearily complacent to unpleasantly frightened based on…. nothing. My moods were always swingy but now they’re properly random because everything is so odd and the world is so small but also so vast and, are we all going to get very, very sick? Do I book a holiday abroad or sit at home on a sofa; one hand in a bucket of sanitiser and the other straining towards the fridge?

And has my moral compass been correctly reset? Am I a worthwhile member of society? Are my responses informed, educated and responsible? I suspect not. I suspect that others will find me as wanting as I find myself. Were we that much younger and more innocent before 23rd March? In many ways we were. For the good and for the bad.

And so, we are supposedly poised to re-enter. But it surely won’t happen the way we think it will. Because nothing ever does. And we won’t get tripped up by the things that are freaking us out. Because it never works that way. It will be other things. Life has rarely felt so fragile and yet stubborn. So random and yet dreary. It’s certainly new, but it’s sure as hell not normal.

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