Eight days into our lockdown limbo I’m finding it increasingly hard not to feel wary of going out into the world, and I’m becoming weary of the worrying uncertainty if it all.
Don’t get me wrong, under normal circumstances I truly love being at home, I’m definitely more of a home bird than a party animal, so but oh, how I miss that easy everyday human contact with other people! I understand it’s what we all have to do, how we all have to be for the time being, but personally what I’m finding hardest to cope with is the unfamiliar mass requirement to be alone hand in glove with the growing fear of the unknown, the unanswerable.
As a population we are so used to feeling an illusive level of control over our bodily health, there is almost an expectation of immunisation and treatment and subsequent survival from such infections, but what this new virus brings to the fore so dramatically is our absolute vulnerability. When we feel under threat, we usually want to feel close, to reach out and touch, to find comfort in the emotional and physical warmth of togetherness. We crave safety in numbers, in huddled family groups and tribal clusters, yet counter-intuitively, in current circumstances enforced isolation is our societal salvation.
OK, so satistics tell us that 80% of people with Covid-19 have relatively minor symptoms, with only 20% experiencing a far more serious threat to their health (including possible death). But as to who gets really sick, and more to the point who dies, that’s perhaps not as clear-cut as it first seemed. Age and underlying health conditions may give some indication of expected prognosis and anticipated mortality rates, but what about those growing fatalities far outwith those prescribed parameters? They may be few and far between, but they do exist – why does the virus seem to affect us all so differently? It feels scarily like the luck of the draw, entirely random, a matter of chance.
So my wariness to me feels justified, a natural measured response to a possible threat to life. If not to my life, then potentially to others. Make no mistake, this virus is a killer, and if collective short-term caution across the world can help reduce the long-term global death toll then we should all be prepared to do whatever we have to do to do our bit. Maybe everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame, but I for one could well do without going down in history as a modern-day equivalent of Typhoid Mary…