By Alison Cram

04th July 2020

Categorised in Good To Know

Yesterday, I finally broke out of my lockdown routine and went to visit a friend. She let me in through her side gate to the back garden and we sat in her outdoor metal chairs on the lawn, chatting in the warm June sunshine. I was so delighted by the change of scene and by seeing my friend face-to-face, rather than via a computer screen, that I felt like I was on holiday, not just at the other end of town. For a lovely half an hour I could almost believe life was vaguely normal.  

It was a real boost, but there’s no doubt that what constitutes normal these days ain’t what it used to be and probably won’t be for some time yet.  

In Scotland the First Minister announced this week that we could enter the next stage of lockdown easing (for example: the opening of some more shops by the end of the month, more opportunities for households to meet, the resumption of certain health services.) She also announced that it will now be mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport. 

All this is welcome but I won’t be rushing to take advantage of these new measures. I still don’t want to take any unnecessary risks and I suspect that many unpaid family carers feel the same. Worries about contracting a virus that could prove fatal to our loved ones, or render us too sick to carry out our caring responsibilities, haven’t gone away.  

As moves are made to open up businesses and “get the economy going” I hope our politicians and decision-makers don’t forget this. That many unpaid carers will still be feeling isolated at home, unable or unwilling to join in the growing list of permitted activities.  

I won’t be standing in a queue for a takeaway coffee or going round to a friend’s house for lunch anytime soon. I’ll be sticking to essential shopping only and wearing a facemask in public wherever I am, not just public transport (which I’ll be trying to avoid like the, er, plague). A weekly catch-up with a friend outdoors will have to do for now and solo walks, time in the garden and my trusty knitting will continue to be my go-to pursuits to try and stay healthy and relaxed. 

It feels a little frustrating but I really would rather be safe than sorry. 

By Alison