Day One: ‘If you’d told me at Christmas that we’d all be scavenging through empty supermarkets now, I’d assumed you’d been on the gin’

Contributor: Sandie:

Empty supermarkets have been commonplace

“I feel like I’m over the crippling panic phase. The bit where anxiety was gnawing at and twisting my insides, eyes were constantly blurry with tears and I had to keep regulating my breathing. Perhaps I’m calmer because this is actually Isolation Day 15 for me and I’m slowly adapting…

As a creative agency, we’ve been geared up to work from home for a while so planned to isolate early. We all had elderly relatives we were worried about and felt well placed to help stop spread the virus. 

So already being 15 days in, and having parents who’d been self-isolating too, might also explain why I’ve felt a bit frustrated (ok, bloody grumpy) with so many people still on the streets. I need to remember this is new to many. It’s also a situation that none of us could ever have imagined (we’ve been very fortunate in the UK for the last 70 years). If you’d told me at Christmas that in three months time we’d all be scavenging through empty supermarkets for abandoned cans of soup and forbidden to have contact with other humans, I’d have just patted your arm and assumed you’d been on the gin. And the seeming insanity of our government’s initial strategy, the painfully-slow in-the-wrong-gear u-turn they are making on that strategy and the vague advice being given, surely isn’t helping.

I’ve stopped watching or reading news for a bit – am skimming headlines once a day in order to keep up. Not my usual MO – it’s important to stay informed – but with my monstrously big imagination and no one to bounce wild fears off every ten minutes, this currently feels like the only solution to getting through in as decent a mental state as I can. I’m not going to be much help to anyone else if I don’t.

However, while I feel relatively calm in my head, my body seems to have other ideas. Something new/weird/frankly a tad scary keeps happening. My throat tightens up and then closes. Like, completely closes so I can’t breathe. And then of course I start to panic. Am feeling completely well so I realise it’s just anxiety-related but, despite this understanding, it’s hard to stop it. Anyone else experiencing this? Tips on breathing/staying alive are welcomed!”

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