OPINION: We can't just live with Covid, we still need to be so cautious
- Credit: Ruth Davies
After adopting the attitude of 'we’ve got to live', Covid got me for the school holidays.
Lifting isolation rules, coupled with my adopting this more laissez faire attitude and it was inevitable. I had no idea it would be quite so awful though, and I’m just glad it happened in the break where my husband was able to be at home as looking after children solo when poorly is diabolical.
My foot came off the pedal and though in part I still agree, we do have to live with it, now I’ve had it, I’d rather not live with it quite so closely thank you very much. Things can’t go 'back to normal', no matter how much we want them to, so living with it mindfully rather than dismissively would have been better.
It was easy to get carried away, to not make my own risk assessments. When a message is delivered positively, and we are rule followers by default, absorption of instruction enters the blood stream with little consideration. If you think back to the 'Eat Out To Help Out' campaign, which turned us from adhering to one solitary hour of exercise a day, to breaking bread with masses, you’ll see how easily we can be led.
It suited me to be free-er. I took no notice of science proving that numbers would rise, and I hoped for the best. As the message said I could. Because I wanted to.
I should have continued to wear a mask, but it felt more like living if I didn’t. I could have continued to sanitise and socially distance, but felt more like 'real life living' to abandon it.
After my booster I’d thought it was enough. Now, on the other side, I wish I’d handled it better. I wasn’t dreadfully ill in hospital, but it was a thoroughly grim few days and I also passed it to my mum. Perhaps others too. My mum is fine, thank God, but I’ll never know how anyone else I brushed past or spoke to is. That’s a weight I could have avoided.
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I think the general feel for those who haven’t yet been kissed by Covid is that it’s like a cold. And sure, I guess for some it could be just that, but for others, it’s a world away or worse. I’m not the sort who gets held down for long, I don’t succumb to a cold, I battle through, but this was different. This was like being taken down on the front line of a battle before the whistle had even gone.
I could barely move, I ached, my ear bled, I was sick and my whole face was filled with congestion, that despite sneezing 20 times an hour, would not clear. Twice I cried because I didn’t know what to do with myself. I just kept wishing I’d been more careful, worn a mask, made better decisions about places I’d visited, kept a distance when people spoke to me. For all the normality those things offered, all the life living they gifted, I’d have traded to have not felt quite so ghastly, especially the evening my head felt like it might explode.
I wonder perhaps if it might be something we can’t appreciate until we’ve had it and been ill ourselves? The self-absorbed way we are as humans to only consider our own universe. I heard things like “I had it with no symptoms and I haven’t even been vaccinated, what does that tell you?” or “I’m not being careful, it’s no worse than a cold!” That’s wonderful, but it’s not indicative. It tells me some of us are predisposed to react badly while others of us are not, but on the whole we’re likely to suffer less if we are vaccinated, less likely to get it at all if we are mindful.
In December figures showed 75% of people in hospital with Covid-related illnesses were not fully vaccinated. From that majority I wonder how many now wish they’d had the jab? If only they’d speak up either way but they don’t. It’s really hard to say when you’ve been wrong, I get why people don’t come forward, however, that voice, those experiences, they could mean so much, make such a difference.
I might have not felt ill at all if I hadn’t been vaccinated, this is true. I probably would have felt worse however, if I hadn’t been. And even though I have been jabbed, I was wrong to have got so careless. If not for myself then for others. Because some others will die from Covid, they won’t get the chance to “just live with it". So, I’m happy to hold my hands up and say I’d got it all wrong. It took me feeling awful to recognise it, but I got it wrong, and I wish I hadn’t.
We do have to live with it, I just don’t think abandoning the acceptance that it’s there and ignoring it is the way to go
Ruth Davies has a parenting blog at www.rocknrollerbaby.co.uk