I need a new word. A word that covers all the kind of feelings you get in lockdown in a grey winter in January. It would be word that covers a feeling that is a combination of sad, angry, frustrated, annoyed, confused, lost, and a bit scared.
Angry, frustrated – the government seems to be promising to say something about changing something at some point, and maybe they’ll take some action about something, but then they don’t do anything and you wonder what the point of telling us nothing was?
Frustrated, sad, annoyed – my holiday to Madeira has been cancelled. Well the outbound flight at least, so if we can’t get there, we can’t get home. We knew booking this back in December was a risk but we had hope back then. Hope! Remember that? At least the airline is directly refunding our flight cost without us having to argue that we don’t want a voucher, but we are losing money on our Airbnb booking. Plus time wasted – that’s seven weeks I’ve spent on my apps learning Portuguese; that’s a book about hiking in Madeira we bought and looked through to plan where we would walk; that’s hours spent scanning various apartments on Airbnb before making a decision on which one to book. In the scale of things, I know this is petty whinging, but it feels like another spark of hope has been extinguished.
Angry, confused, a little bit scared – supermarkets are bravely announcing they are going to start enforcing mask wearing by customers from now. This surprises me because I thought it was compulsory to wear a mask inside since May or June last year. At least, that’s how long I’ve been going out to shops wearing a mask. I have to wonder what the hell the supermarkets have been doing the last six months? Why only start enforcing mask wearing now?
Angry, lost, a little bit scared – The official death statistics are in for 2020 and more people died above the average than at any time since World War II. Covid has caused the same number of deaths as a war! So all those deniers saying It’s just flu and People die every year can go to hell. This virus is killing people like it’s a war! Except now instead of being under attack by a foreign power it feels like we are under attack by the incompetency of our own government.
Sad, lost – it’s January, it’s winter, it’s grey. It’s grey all the time. It’s grey in the morning, it’s grey at lunchtime and it get’s a darker shade of grey before it gets dark in the afternoon. It’s starting to feel like these days will last forever. Every day looks the same as the one before. Lockdown isn’t the adventure it was back in March 2020. We know what it looks and feels like now, we know how miserable it is. We know the slow grinding monotony of the rooms of our homes, the excitement that a trip to the supermarket can bring, the futility of endless walking around the same streets of your neighbourhood on your allocated exercise window every day.
There needs to be a new word that covers all of these feelings.