Many have said that lockdown gives the normal healthy population a taste of what it’s like to be chronically ill. The constant missing of something and the loss of purpose is very similar to what happens when you get a chronic illness. Especially one that causes you to lose your job, lose friends and end up largely housebound.
You could say that us chronically ill folks have been equipped to the challenges of social isolation.
However, social isolation and lockdown can bring up it’s own challenges.
Suddenly the whole world is trying to get fit and make gains by working out at home. Trying to be productive whilst in lockdown.
Doing all the things we wish we could spend our days doing but can’t.
I wish I could bake more than a super simple no mess recipe without payback. I wish I could spend an entire day reading. I can read for 10-20 minutes without having to take a break and can’t sustain that throughout the day. I wish I could delve into a new series and binge it in a day. Actually watching it, following it. Instead of dozing throughout and having it on in the background.
I wish I could spend hours perfecting tiktok dances. Instead one attempt and my chest acts up for a good hour.
Without discussing the fact that atleast in the UK able bodied people can have one exercise session outdoors a day there are so many things able bodied people can do whilst remaining at home.
I can understand the anger of some people in the chronic illness community over able bodied moaning in this regard, because seeing and knowing everything that can be done from home leaves you with the feeling that your yet again missing out.
The rhetoric that we have to learn a new skill, start a business and get fit in lockdown can make us feel like we’re not good enough.
Let alone difficulties some of us have in finding food delivery slots. I’m lucky I have a little Tesco express opposite me. But I would be unable to walk 10 minutes to the nearest supermarket then queue up outside the supermarket and then do my shopping and carry it home right now due to the flare I’m in. That trip was always exhausting without the flare and the queue.
However lockdown has also done good things for people with chronic illnesses. Suddenly we’re feeling more included and more connected to people as the world switches to embracing virtual communication and forms of socialisation.
For some of us, our quality of life has improved because this social aspect has come back into play. I myself am feeling relived that I don’t have to overextend myself to look like a normal 22 year old. There’s less FOMO and less having to say no or saying yes and paying the price.
The switch to having to work from home and school from home is hopefully going to make lasting changes that lead to the world being more accessible for those with chronic illness and allow us to reach our full potential and I’d like to think that people are now going to be more understanding towards people with chronic illness. Once they realise that getting to stay at home all day isn’t “lucky”. One can hope for a positive change from all this right?
How are you finding this period of social distancing?