Re: Re-joining the world anxieties

I have really been isolating since mid-February, when boyfriend and I were 98% sure that we had a mild form of virus (shortness of breath, dry coughing etc).
These days I go out, with mask on, only to supermarket once a week, or out in a vehicle if he has to fetch something, like building materials etc for work (but I’ll stay in the vehicle, instead of getting out). It’s just for a ‘run out’ really and change of scene.
I find that I’ve got so used to not going out, that now I feel anxious and a little scared of doing so. Supposed to be back at work on Monday (I volunteer in my local Hospice Shop in town), but am having second thoughts about it. The general public seem on the whole from what I’ve experienced, to be totally complacent about things, whooping it up as more restrictions are lifted and forgetting what has gone on before.
Things are not back to normal.
The virus has not miraculously ‘gone away’.
Why are people acting as though nothing’s happened?
This all makes me so scared, I feel that I want to continue living in my ‘prison’ for many months to come, even though it is affecting my mental health drastically. Feel like a caged bird and very alone, as boyfriend is back at work in daytimes.

Nananana, your work in the charity shop is voluntary work, so you are totally entitled to say you aren’t ready to return yet. My sister has just returned to work in a pub and they have had lots of planning, changes and so on to make it as safe as possible - I would want to know this had happened in the Charity shop prior to starting back.

For your own mental health, I think you need to start setting yourself challenges, to get your confidence back. A walk around the block, a socially distanced walk with a friend, a coffee in an outside open space etc

S and I have become very comfortable collecting food bank food from the distribution site, taking it do vulnerable households and those in need; going to our local (never much of a queue) local supermarket etc and lots of walks. However, I felt nervous going to the big supermarket again after months of avoiding shops; very aware of not touching services whilst buying a takeaway coffee in our local Costa etc, so I think your feelings are normal and common sense, but don’t sacrifice your mental wellbeing and don’t let the fear take over.


(This is just my view.)

I feel the same.

Still not going to shops etc.

Definite trying to go for walks that are other than local occasionally to get confidence back.

If I was going back to work at a shop I would want to know they had things in place like screens etc. And you could wear a face shield. I would also want to know are they leaving windows open for air circulation. And are the numbers of customers being reduced. And will they be wearing masks.

And is the risk of going back there worth it yet. Only you can decide.

If I were you I would start doing more outdoorsy things as much less chance of catching virus.

Maybe a socialy distant walk with a friend.

It’s understandable, the anxieties. I’ve been doing long walks with my friend and her neighbours dog. Am very comfortable with it, and having her sit in my garden, weather permitting. I’ve also sat in in porch, and she halfway up her stairs when I take her online shopping to her. We were both very anxious to start with, but it has become easier. I went to Sainsbury’s with my grandson last week. Was really to go to the cash point, but decided to venture in for the 1st time. Wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. Been taking baby steps, and feel much better when I have. Am very careful, hand gel etc.
Just saying how I have been,in the hope it helps.

I also volunteer at a local hospice charity shop and we haven’t re-opened yet - looks like being the week after next. Personally I’m looking forward to going back as I really do miss the social interaction - I live on my own and my volunteering helps to give structure to my week. Under normal circumstances I can go many days without seeing anyone or having a conversation that consists of more than “good morning” or “thank you” to the check out girl in Sainsburys !

Obviously all of our shops (11 in total) were shut as soon as lockdown started which meant that the hospice were/are losing around £33,000 per week in sales (average sales target per shop is £3000 per week). During the lockdown many of our regular customers still wanted to donate items for sale so 3 of the shops were designated as drop off points - by appointment only. And a further 2 were designated sorting stations - staffed by shop managers in full PPE. All the donated bags were labelled with the date they were received before being delivered onto the sorting stations. All bags were then left for 72 hours before being opened and sorted. They were then bagged in fresh new bags ready for delivery to the shops. When they do get to the shops the clothes will be hung up, steamed and left for a further 72 hours before being put out on the rails and all the bric-a-brac will be washed before that goes out on the shelves.

During this last week the shop where I volunteer has been completely re-organised, re-arranged and re-stocked. Only paid staff (Managers, Assistant Managers and office staff) have been allowed back to carry out this essential work. I still don’t know when volunteers will be invited back, but I do know that it will be our choice whether we go in or not - PPE, hand sanitiser and screens at the till will all be in place - as will 2 metre markings on the floor and limits on the number of customers in the shop at anyone time (although as our shop is quite small I can’t see that working very well !).

Our shop too has all the precautions put in place. Donations have to be phoned through to our shop, before we can accept them and steaming every item of clothing is an everyday procedure in our shop anyway. Fran just feels guilty that’s all, for not going in to help, as they love my Little Miss Organisation skills. And you’re so right, Susie, it’s the social contact that is needed.
I shall attempt not to just go to supermarket and run back home again, but will try to stay out and wander about??
I should walk round the lanes where I live, but feel vulnerable on my own and none of my two near neighbours want to join me, they seem too busy constantly doing ‘housework’ (which I don’t, there’s more to life!).
Maybe I’m finding excuses not to go out. ‘Can’t be bothered’ is starting to set in, as well.
So different from ‘before’ isn’t it?

Hi Nananana,

What did you do before Lockdown? Could you start doing any of those things again? Even in an adapted way?
Did you used to walk before Lockdown and if so, where? As S and I walk the same routes (we have a week day route and a weekend route!) we often see the same people each time and wave or so hi to them.

What about a socially distanced coffee in the garden with your house-proud neighbours(!) or with folk you know through volunteering etc

You could become a telephone befriender for the time being.

Sorry if ideas are no good, I think basically you need to decide to go somewhere and do it!! (Says Melly who needs to book an eye test and try and get a slot at the tip! I wish our local Reusers would start taking donations again.)


we all need to return to normal life, you can’t settle yourself in the locked house, you’re doing yourself worse, I mean, try to put up with all new conditions of working and living. You can’t be afraid all your life, this virus is already with us for not some more months, you need to accept this fact, be careful, but live your full life, not restraining yourself! Hope it will be fine!

Hi Nana, I’m like you. After various medical “adventures” I’ m in the vulnerable group. Not happy about all the people coming down to Bournemouth beach a couple of weeks ago, really glad the weather isn’t so too now! So odd not going to shows and rallies, missing my friends. I feel far safer at home, and selling things on the internet. Today was very successful! Lots of things to catch up on in house and garden which need time rather than money.

That’s got a lot to do with it, BowlingBun. No shows or seeing all our mates. My 2 neighbours are pretty much in each other’s pockets, they attend each others’ bbq evenings and are very erm…ladylike ladies. ie. they don’t ‘get’ me cos I’m into old engines and motor racing and suchlike, I’m not very close to them and not interested in their lady chitter chattering.
I did get out walking the other day and did feel better. Met an old friend for a walk around Colemere Lake (Mere?) with her dog, taking a picnic for afterwards. I do need to get my mindset back to ‘normal’, which will help.

glad you had an enjoyable walk and meet up with a friend. Definitely helps to get out and moving in the fresh air. No your neighbours don’t sound your sort of people. Perhaps you could arrange some more meet ups with folk who share your interests. Sometimes everyone is waiting for someone else to make the first move. I really miss face to face meet ups and feel so much better afterwards.