The Lockdown Diaries | The Vaccine Cometh
“I’m too bored to even sleep,” said 3-year-old Max as I put him to bed earlier this week – and, honestly, I think that pretty much sums up most of the last year for me, really, but the last few weeks in particular.
Seriously, if I died right now, you could write, “Too bored to even DIE,” on my gravestone, and it would not be inaccurate, because, the way I’ve been feeling lately, I’d get halfway through dying and then just be like, “Nope, can’t really motivate myself to see this thing through now.” And then I’d just be lying there, mostly dead, but also just a little bit alive, and that’s kind of what this latest – and hardest – version of lockdown feels like, isn’t it?
I have reached peak boredom, is what I’m trying to say: not because I can’t think of anything I could do to un-bore myself (Yes, I know I could take a “nice” walk or bake a cake, thanks…), but because, like most people I know, I just can’t any more.
I’m at the stage now where I’ve stopped even pretending to myself that I’m going to get my act together any time soon. I’ve basically given up work in order to spend my days sitting in the living room with a blanket draped over my head, pretending to be “a Queen” (Don’t ask…) for my toddler.
I’ve completely lost motivation for everything, which means that all I really do is wait. And wait. And wait. And panic about how all I ever do is wait. And then wait again, and wait some more, because what else can you do when it’s February in a pandemic, and it hasn’t stopped snowing for almost 6 weeks now – not that you’d be allowed to leave your village even if it stopped?
We can do nothing.
So we wait. And we wonder how much longer the waiting will last, and what the world will be like when it’s finally over.
There are, however, a few signs that our waiting may be coming to an – albeit tortuously slow – end, and while I know it’s very off-brand of me to give you a list of positive things, I’m going to do it anyway. Er, New Year, New Me? Or something? So, let the record show that…
Last week Terry and my parents all had their first doses of the vaccine. I obviously realise that doesn’t mean they all suddenly have some kind of Covid-repelling superpower, and that we’re still a long way away from it actually making a difference to us, caveat, caveat, caveat, but still: while it’s not the END of the end, it certainly feels like the beginning of the end, which is at least something.
With the most vulnerable members of our family now vaccinated, we’re hoping Max will finally be able to start nursery at some point in the near future, although that’s obviously contingent on the number of Covid-19 cases in the area continuing to drop.
Had our lives been progressing as normal this year, Max should have taken up his state nursery place at the start of January, and the fact that he wasn’t able to do that has been a source of constant worry for Terry and I, who’ve been very aware that Max has had absolutely no normal socialisation in months now, and has been pretty much stuck in the house all winter, with just us and his imaginary friend Shoeshubb for company.
People like to tell us that he won’t remember or be affected by any of this, but I don’t believe the quality of a child’s life only starts to matter once they’re old enough to remember it, and I’d like Max’s life to be… just better than this, is all.
We really feel he’d benefit from nursery now – or just from having at least SOME experiences other than being stuck at home or going for yet another dull walk – so while we’re obviously not planning to take any unnecessary risks, we’re hoping it’ll soon be safe enough for it to happen.
(And Shoeshubb could be doing with a break too, to be honest…)
This week it’s still been light outside by 5pm, and, depending on how well Max sleeps, it’s occasionally light out by the time I come downstairs in the morning, too. It’s still freezing, obviously, but the snow we’ve had on the ground since pretty much the start of this year has finally melted, and although spring doesn’t normally start until some time in May here, after months of darkness (Both literal and figurative), just getting to see daylight again has been a real treat for us all.
Nope, that’s all I’ve got. Sorry. I feel like I mis-sold the whole “positive” thing a bit here – whoops.
While the vaccine and Max’s nursery start aren’t going to transform our lives, though, we’re hoping the latter will, at least, give us a little bit more balance in life, which would be very welcome right now.
Of course, the fact that this extra time is now looming on the horizon has meant that, “I’ll do that when Max is at nursery,” has now become my catchphrase of choice, a bit like when you tell yourself you may as well eat all the junk food in the house NOW, so you can start your diet on Monday.
It makes me sad to think that, with another birthday looming, I’m still left feeling like my life is something that will only happen at some point in the future, rather than being lived now, but, well, like I said: what can you do in the face of a pandemic, other than struggle on as best you can, and wait for your life to begin again?
In the meantime, though, the groundhog year continues.
“I just don’t want the day to end,” wailed Max, still desperately trying to postpone bedtime. “Don’t worry, Max,” I thought grimly as I tucked him in, “It doesn’t look like it ever will.” And, sure enough, the day had already lasted for approximately 1,000 years, and yet, the day that came after it was almost exactly the same, right down to the tiniest detail. Nothing was achieved that day, that month, that week, or that whole year: just waiting. And now maybe hoping that soon the waiting will stop…