For most of you out there in the world, staying in and staying confined during the pandemic was difficult. It was for me! I had friends that didn’t change their lifestyles much at all. They had Christmas and all the other holidays with their families and had no ill effects. And then there were those who disregarded many of the orders from the CDC and paid dearly for it.
I felt like I was in the middle… I sanitized, wore masks, stayed home a lot but I also went to Walmart and ordered carry out. I cancelled our family get together because of my age and my husband’s age and our “underlying health issues”. I felt guilty and felt a little betrayed and even indignant when friends and other family members were not as careful as I was or didn’t share my fears and decisions.
I missed weekly activities with my two best friends. But we all have health issues and are all “of a certain age”. I still feel the need to justify my behavior, though I followed “the science”.
Yes, It had been hard staying in during the pandemic. But I didn’t realize how hard it would be to once again “go out”.
We’ve gone out for a meal a few times. The first time, I went home with my stomach in knots, sure that I had been infected by someone in the restaurant. I forgot how to interact with the server. I felt the urge to jump out of the booth and run back out to the car where it was safer. It was easier the second time but there was still the anxiety. I was angry because going out to dinner was supposed to be a fun and relaxing activity.. and it wasn’t.
I went to Walmart for the first time without a mask. I felt as if everyone there was judging me, whether they wore a mask or not. At checkout this sweet elderly lady ahead of me said to me, “It’s OK dear, you know you don’t have to stand that far back anymore.” I couldn’t move even with her permission.