Feeling Anxious About Lockdown Ending

feeling anxious about lockdown ending

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Now noone has said that lockdown will be properly ending anytime soon. Coronavirus certainly isn’t going anywhere for the foreseeable future. But it’s clear that as a country we are starting to take steps towards opening everything back up. And I’m finding myself having mixed feelings about it. In fact, I’m actually feeling really anxious about lockdown ending.

Longing for a bit of normality

It’s been, what, eight or something weeks of lockdown now?! I’ve actually lost count, and in a way, I can’t believe it’s been that long!!! I mean, that’s crazy isn’t it?! Longer than the school summer holidays. And just think how ready most of us usually feel after that time for getting a bit of normality and routine back.

But the fact is, even after lockdown, things are going to be far from normal. For a long time. It’s actually quite difficult to imagine things ever being quite how they were before all this started. I mean, imagine being stood right next to someone in a shop. Or crammed in like sardines with a hundred strangers on the rush-hour commute. (Not that I’ve ever really done that but you get my point!)

Taking one day at a time

Anyway, there’s not much point in thinking too far ahead into the future really, as it is just so impossible to picture how things will be. All through this pandemic so far, I’ve tried hard to just take one day at a time.

At the beginning, the thought of months at home stretching ahead of me was quite frankly terrifying! Then we found ourselves actually quite enjoying staying at home. Of course the novelty of home learning and so on did wear off and there have been a lot of moments when it’s all just felt very intense and relentless. (Especially the amount of whinging from the twiglets when you’re subjected to it all day!)

But with everything going on, it’s been very comforting staying as safe as possible in our little family bubble. The worst thing has been missing close family – ie my mum and sister, who we would usually see at least a couple of times a week.

Moving towards the end of lockdown

So now that announcements have been made signalling the beginning of the end of lockdown, it’s left me feeling very unsettled and anxious. It hasn’t helped of course, that the advice seems to be a bit ambiguous and open to interpretation.

To me it all feels a bit soon to be thinking about spending prolonged amounts of time hanging out in parks or having socially distanced meet-ups with people from other households. Maybe it’s just me but I’d like to see the numbers quite a bit lower really before thinking about any of this.

I do recognise by the way, that I’m in a privileged position to say that. Lockdown for me hasn’t been really tough like it has for some people. I’m lucky enough to live in a home where I feel safe with a lovely husband and children. We have a garden so we’ve been easily able to spend lots of time outdoors when the weather’s been nice. I know there must be a lot of people longing for lockdown to end for all sorts of reasons.

feeling anxious about lockdown ending

Feeling anxious about going out more

I’m feeling uneasy thinking about going out more. At the moment, we only go out for a walk once every few days and the other half goes to the supermarket once a week. And that’s pretty much it really! I already feel more nervous even about the husband going shopping. As it seems like a lot of people have already become way too relaxed about social distancing – ie not even bothering.

I do try to keep it in perspective. At the start of it all, I wasn’t really too worried about us as a family getting the virus. And I know that the vast majority of people just get it mildly. But as time’s gone on, I’ve become more nervous about it, having seen the death rate going up and up. I think I’m more worried about us getting it and spreading it to more vulnerable people though really.

But the thought of going to a garden centre or going to hang out in the sun for hours outside feels scary to me! I hate the thought of my mum meeting a friend and sitting on a park bench (even at a distance). All it would take would be one infected person to cough in their hand then touch the bench, and it could be spread to loads of others. It just all feels too early, with the numbers still as high as they are.

And now that we can drive to anywhere we like in the country, what happens when everyone piles down to the beaches on hot days and social distancing is impossible? I can’t imagine it being policed enough to keep it safe. And if people have driven for 3 hours to get there, they’re not just going to turn back!

I think we as a family will just carry on as we are for now to be honest. I don’t really feel the need to change anything we’re doing yet.

Feeling anxious about schools returning

One of the biggest worries for me and lots of other parents of course is about schools going back. It sounds like this could well be beginning in just a few weeks. The twiglets are in Reception so would be among the first pupils to return to school. At the moment I feel absolutely torn as to whether I would send them in or not. There are quite a few reasons why I feel particularly anxious about this.

How the frick can social distancing work in primary schools?!

First of all, I can’t envisage how social distancing could work logistically in most primary schools. Even with classes of 15, there’s no way pupils could be 2 metres apart from each other. Not in any classroom I’ve ever taught in anyway!

And what happens when one needs the toilet? Will there be enough spare adults on hand to accompany kids and ensure they keep their distance in the corridors? Will they be policing handwashing every time a kid goes? H for one is a bloody nightmare and will only wash his hands thoroughly for 20 seconds if someone is basically standing over him!

Also, to me it just seems utterly bonkers to send Reception kids back first. The youngest children with the least understanding of social distancing, who are, let’s face it, quite frankly gross and prone to licking each other. I mean, whyyyy?!

I get that the early years are important in laying foundations for future learning, getting the basics of reading and writing etc. But in other countries, children don’t even start school until 7 so it can’t be that detrimental surely?

To be fair, the twigs do understand the idea of social distancing pretty well. When we’re out on a walk, they’ll dutifully move out of the way if anyone comes towards us. But often only with reminders. Left to their own devices, and especially if they were to see friends, I’m quite sure the notion would go right out the window!

And why shouldn’t it?? That brings me on to my next point…

How will it affect kids’ mental health?

I really worry about the mental health of our kids if they have to go school but practise social distancing. For one thing, it just seems so sad to me. Socialisation is such an important part of school life, especially in Reception. One of the main reasons I would want them to go back to school would be to see their friends. But if they can’t hug them or be close to them or even really play properly, is there actually any point?? And they may well not end up even being with them anyway, as they will be taught in smaller groups.

I feel like Reception children would surely have to be taught in a different way too. No way could they be moving freely around the room doing independent activities. Particularly not all the messy activities they’d have been used to. It would have to be a much more bums-on-seats way of learning wouldn’t it?

And I just keep imagining how awful it would be if one of the twigs hurt themselves and was upset, but noone was allowed to come near enough to comfort them. The thought of that just breaks my heart. As a teacher, I couldn’t imagine being able to maintain social distancing in that situation, and maybe they won’t. But teachers have to protect themselves and think of their own families too don’t they? Otherwise they’re just being put at massive risk. And imagine how terrifying and impersonal for the kids if teachers end up wearing masks and so on. Argh minefield!

Could returning to school delay seeing other family?

I also worry that if the twigs have been in school, mixing with other kids and exposed to goodness knows what, it might make me extremely nervous to see my mum when that time comes. She’s not clinically extremely vulnerable, but she is 70 and at risk due to a couple of factors.

Obviously we’re all desperate to see her and spend time with her again. But equally she’s my only parent now after my dad passed away, and the twigs’ only grandparent, and I’m paranoid about keeping her safe and protecting her. It would be so horrible to have to delay seeing her further because of any extra risk the twigs could pose to her, having been at school.

What if you don’t send your kids back to school?

I’ve spoken to quite a few mums who have already stated categorically that their children will not be going back in June. The fact is, I’m a stay-at-home mum for four days. Goodness knows what will happen on my one teaching day (not one of the year groups going back first). But my point was that for four days at least, the twigs could easily stay home with me. So you almost feel like is there any point risking it?

Equally though, I was so devastated when we first thought their Reception year was over and they wouldn’t be going back until September. I was so sad they wouldn’t see their friends or teachers again, so it would be hard to deprive them of that opportunity. But then, if it’s going to involve social distancing and just be a really weird, potentially not very nice experience for them, is it worth it anyway??

Basically, I’m going round in circles in my head! I should just try not to worry about it until we know more definite information. But it’s hard though!

So what now?

Maybe in the next few days or weeks, things will become clearer as we get more information. Or maybe after all the bellends having parties recently, there’ll end up being a second wave and schools won’t go back before September after all. Who knows? I guess we just have to continue doing our best to take one day at at time. I must admit, I’m finding it harder now that we are beginning to move out of lockdown.

It feels like our safe little bubble is slowly beginning to burst.

How are you feeling about it all? Are you happy about the idea of schools going back soon? Or do you find yourself, like me, feeling anxious about lockdown ending?

Stay safe and thanks for reading this brain splurge! Til next time,

Hannah xx

feeling anxious about lockdown ending

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29 Comments

  1. We have discussed it as a family and we’ve agreed that we will be taking getting back to normal life slowly. We have said that at the moment we won’t be going out to parks, we want to see what happens.
    My girls are at secondary school and college and there is no talk of them returning yet but if they were at primary school they would not be going back anytime soon. I read online schools can’t control nits so what chance do they have with coronavirus.
    Stay safe x

  2. I can identify with everything you’ve said here. I can’t believe that reception is one of the first year groups going back, reception children won’t understand playing two metres apart from their friends and what about all the teachers whose health could be put at risk – madness :o(

    #MMBC

  3. We’re coming out of lockdown and our numbers are very low so I have to keep reminding myself of the statistical chances the kids will get it (one working in a fast food restaurant) and one on public transport to school everyday. It’s the unmanageable that is the worry – you can’t be assured your kids will do the smart thing…or just numbers. Hard to social distance in a crowd…#StayClassyMama

    1. Yes definitely. Our numbers are still pretty high hence the anxiety about reopening schools! Just have to see in a few weeks I guess πŸ™‚ Stay safe xx

  4. Human nature tends toward falling into extremes, so hopefully we can all be our best selves in this season of transition. If we need to be cautious in order to feel safe, others should practice respect for that. Social distancing should definitely include “judgment distancing.”

    1. Definitely – I’ve seen so many judgemental posts about whether parents are sending kids back to school or not! Everyone has to do what’s right for their family x

    2. I could have written this myself. Every single word I understand. Two of my children would be due to go back years 1 and 6. But I’d still have my year 4 at home and my baby. I’m not comfortable so at the moment they will be staying at home.
      I’m completely with you too about the anxiety of Lockdown easing. I was so much happier in our lockdown bubble. Stay safe x
      #thatfridaylinky

      1. Oh that would be hard having one at home but two going to school πŸ™ Yes I feel so much more anxious and uneasy now since the rules changed! Stay safe xx

  5. It’s hard not to feel some anxiety when everything is so uncertain. One of my children was so upset when I told him he was unlikely to return to school this term. He just wants to see some friends, which is totally understandable.
    #thatFridaylinky

    1. Oh it’s so hard for them isn’t it πŸ™ Especially when they’re a bit older with established friendships. My two are only 4 so I just haven’t mentioned anything to them about the possibility of them going back yet.. Will just see what happens in a few weeks x

  6. I’ve been so cross with the media constantly speculating when schools will reopen and that has caused me the most stress.
    Not much learning goes on in schools in June and July, all exams are finished (usually) and the kids are exhausted by this time of year, so honestly I don’t see the point of returning before September.
    I have enjoyed being able to have a drive out somewhere with the kids now. We live in Devon so we are lucky to have such beautiful places on our doorstep. #StayClassyMama

    1. So true – the constant speculation has been really unhelpful! Still not sure it will even happen on June 1 anyway. But yes good point about the end-of-year wind-down too! Ah lucky you living in Devon πŸ™‚ Finding it hard to find anywhere not absolutely rammed to go for a walk here πŸ™ Stay safe x

  7. It’s ludicrous isn’t it?! I really do feel for you. I homeschool my two boys but if they were schooled I would certainly not be sending them back at a time like this.
    We are shielding my husband with him being a heart transplant recipient, so we can’t go far at all.
    The kids do miss friends and family of course, but we are safe and happy and staying away from the craziness until it’s safe to get out there again.
    Stay well. x

    1. Oh gosh that must be hard having to fully shield. Glad you’re all doing well though xx

  8. I actually am not feeling at all anxious about lockdown ending here in the US.. if anything I’m kind of annoyed that we’re taking such tiny baby steps to do it & that it’s handled rather inconsistently as it’s left up to each state what it wants to do and how it wants to handle it. Living just minutes away from two other state boarders it has been difficult trying to keep all the rules straight for 3 different states. Our area is rather rural so going out for walk or to the store doesn’t feel very stressful (other than wondering if I’ll find what I’m looking for) but that said I wouldn’t be up for traveling to any major cities or highly populated areas for some time.

    1. Ah it’s really interesting to hear a different viewpoint, especially from another country. Interesting how each state is doing things differently. Where I live is urban so maybe why it all feels a bit scary! Just seems quite soon to be reopening everything eek!

  9. I can so relate to all of these. I want it to end but I am not sure about the “new normal”. I want old normal and not having to worry about Covid. It’s certainly going to be an interesting time, I think, and who knows how it will all work out. Thanks for sharing with #stayclassymama

    1. Yes exactly – the new normal is going to be… weird at the least!! Stay safe xx

  10. I don’t want to go back to the madness of before. I do want the kids to be back in school but am not convinced it is safe. I am desperate to see my parents and hope that in the next stage of the lockdown relaxing we can interact with one other household so I can see my parents. Thanks for linking up with #stayclassymama

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