Posted in My Planet

Social Distancing – My Experience

Last night, the Prime Minister announced very strict rules on the nation’s lock down. According to The Guardian, it was one of the most watched TV moments in history, everyone was glued to the TV. It felt strange, we were all there in front of the TV and I was very nervous, it was almost like we were waiting to hear our life sentences; I don’t remember another time when I had that feeling.  I remember the uneasy feeling every time I spoke with the doctors when my mother was in hospital in intensive care, but this is a different feeling. I think it’s because this concerns the whole world, not just me or my family. It’s that feeling that we’re all in this together, I suppose.

We must stay at home. We can only go out to:

  • buy necessities like food and medicine and we should do it as less often as possible
  • go to and from work, but only when work cannot be done from home
  • do one form of exercise, e.g. walk, run, cycle
  • go for essential medical care or to care for someone vulnerable

We must not meet our friends nor anyone that does not live in our house and we must not visit each other in each other’s houses. Any social gatherings of more than 2 people are banned unless we live in the same house. All shops that don’t sell food or medicine are closed. To be honest, I knew this was coming from the moment Costa announced closure of their stores yesterday morning. Never before in history, measures like this have been taken.

I have to say that nothing is changing for me, I’ve been doing this since Monday last week. But unfortunately, not everyone understood the rules of social distancing and that’s why the lock down has to be enforced. Some people don’t understand that the sooner you stick to the rules of social distancing, the sooner this will be over. I have to admit that this sounds good to me. Staying at home, reading and writing, calling friends and have all the time I want to do what I want. I’ve wanted this for a long time. Not the pandemic bit, just the social isolation bit – not offence to any of my relations.

So far, a big chunk of my time has been dedicated to self-care. I am still establishing a routine, but I have exercised at home most days and have gone for a walk outside every day. I have been eating pretty healthily and have been drinking plenty of water, I’ve lost 800 grams since I’ve been social isolating – pretty amazing, I would say. I have also been moisturizing every time after the shower, which I don’t normally do because of time, but now, since time is not an issue, I make a point of doing. I also get dress every morning in going out clothes and change to lounging clothes in the evening. I think it gives a structure to the day and makes me feel more connected to the normality of life.

Last week, I made a list of things I want to do during this time. That keeps me focused. I have been doing a lot of journal writing for self reflection, but I am also working on a new poem right now. It’s a poem I started a while ago, but yesterday I went back to editing it and today I will give it another look. I’ve done a few online badges on the university website, but I’m looking for some online courses that I can do to keep my brain in gear and add to my skills. I’ve been speaking on the phone to friends every day to check up on each other and stay connected.

My biggest challenge is to stay away from social media and news updates. I confess I am quite obsessed with news updates, maybe because these are unprecedented times and, sometimes it does feel unreal, like this is not really happening. It’s like, I need to check often what it going on, in case someone comes up and say something like, ‘a cure has been found’ or even, ‘You’ve been fooled!’  Sadly, neither has happened yet and I doubt that it will. So, I must stop obsessing about the news and do something more productive or satisfying with my time. But, all in all I am happy with how I have been using my time – most of the time. Let me know what you’ve been doing with your social distance time, I’d love to hear other people’s experiences.


I can not decide if I am a teacher who writes or a writer who teaches, both activities give me equal satisfaction. Words are my secret place. I write about my experience as a mature student, mental health, living and raising a family in a foreign country, following my dreams and finding love later in life.

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