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18 Aug 2020 , by Ian

When lockdown comes calling

Hello. Well it’s been an extraordinary time, hasn’t it? I can’t remember anything like this happening before in the UK, where we’ve become virtual recluses because of Covid 19. 

Me? Well I have Autism Spectrum Disorder, associated with anxiety and depression and we are now entering the ninth week of the enforced lockdown. To say it’s been a tough time would be an understatement. I’ve hardly been out, I’ve hardly seen anybody, I’ve not used any public transport, all my usual activities have been scrubbed and at times, severe cabin fever has set in. 

In the initial stages of the lockdown, when we were totally confined to barracks, there was plenty going on with my living environment, suffice it to say, I had to endure some frightening times listening to an ever developing situation in the property underneath me. At one stage, I was kept awake on Easter Monday for nearly 9 hours while a fierce argument was raging. Despite my attempts to bang on the floor to get them to desist, it continued. By the morning, I was on the edge and suicidal. My thoughts were dark and full of foreboding. Awful times.  

Thankfully that situation has resolved itself more or less, and some calm has descended after a chaotic two years. I’m grateful for the peace and quiet. 

When Boris Johnson lifted some of the restrictions, I have gone out a little more, and the bonus has been that the weather has been wonderful these last eight weeks. So I’ve done a little sunbathing, I’ve seen my sister for longer than hitherto was the case, and I feel slightly better now that the end game is in progress. 

Of course, my sympathies go out to all those affected by Covid 19, and I don’t think enough attention has been paid to those with mental health issues mind you. We’ve been left to get on with it and it was like I fell down a very dark abyss with no avenue of escape. Now there is some light appearing and hopefully the activities can resume and I can use public transport. I am using Zoom to communicate with some of my friends and several people have been very supportive of my struggles….their kindness certainly has helped in those dark moments. Those people know who they are. 

So, as I type this, the sun is shining, the air is clear and the birds are singing merrily. Darkness has lifted, and if you have been struggling, a good, positive outcome is in sight. Nothing lasts forever, not even Covid 19. Stay away from social media and the news. Lots of doom, gloom and disaster and the news executives get a sordid thrill from it. But ignore it, and keep communicating with your friends. They’ve stayed with me, and I hope I can stay with them in their hours of darkness. 

For now, I bid you a fond farewell. 

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