Anxious Ramblings 6 | Contamination OCD & the Coronavirus Pandemic 3: Surely It Should Be Over By Now?

Hand Washing

It’s been a while since I did an OCD-covid related check-in, so I thought with it being OCD Awareness Week this week, it would be an idea to post one. A lot has happened since my last OCD update – I’ve been getting out a lot more, I’ve seen a few more friends and fam, and the biggest news of all, we bought a house. Or rather, the house we were buying completed and we now live in it. So, not all bad. Of course, since my last update, which I published towards the end of May, more shit has been thrown at us coronavirus wise. You can’t gather in groups of more than six people, you have to leave the pub by 10pm, and people are back to stockpiling toilet roll and soap – all down to a rise in cases.

There’s a lot of people out there blaming young people and students for the rise in cases – while I don’t think that they deserve the blame, I feel like the rise is partially down to the government giving it the okay for people going to university and the kids going back to school. Of course, I 100% acknowledge that it’s not the kids and the students’ fault – so please don’t @ me – students were just doing as advised by going off to university and moving into their halls and parents were sending their kids back to school because they were told to. It’s absolutely not their fault. However, what happens every year? When the kids go back to school, and when the students start at university, it happens. Illness. The weeks following all of those “first day at school” or “back to school” photos on Facebook, my feed is full of parents saying their child has come down with a cold or a stomach bug. Meanwhile, freshers’ flu goes around universities every single year. It’s something I remember distinctly, and despite the fact I didn’t even live in halls or a shared house, I would end up with something every year. My point is – how did the government think this year would be any different? How did they think that during a pandemic, things would be okay? Yes, universities have worked their butts off to make things safe for those enrolling, and schools have worked incredibly hard to put measures in place, but part of me still feels it was too early, and there was too much emphasis on getting things “back to normal.” Please – you still can’t hug your grandparents, but it’s fine for you to move into a communal accommodation with random people from all over the country. I don’t quite understand it.

That’s just my opinion. Let’s move on. Please don’t slice me.

I mentioned last time I had issues with face masks due to my fear that when things eventually go back to normal, I won’t be able to do anything without one. Obviously, since my last post, it’s become a legal requirement that face coverings must be worn in shops, public transport, pretty much everywhere. And let’s be honest, shit is not going back to normal for a long-ass time. Since it’s become a legal requirement, I’ve obviously been following the rules and wearing a mask on the rare occasions that I go out, and it’s actually given me this insane irrational hatred of those not wearing them. It’s amazing how quickly my mindset changed. Obviously, I know there’s people that are exempt, and of course that’s fine. The people I have issues with are the ones that have an excuse for it all – “It’s uncomfortable on my nose!” “the government can’t tell me what to do” “I’ve got rights” blah blah blah. Guess what poppet – I don’t want to wear a mask either. No one does. But it’s the rules. You’re complaining about wearing one for half an hour while you do your food shop, while there’s NHS staff and key-workers working their butts off, wearing them virtually 24 hours a day. You not wearing them is one of the reasons why they’re still having to work as hard as they are. Just shut up and wear your goddamn mask. Oh, and by the way – it’s supposed to cover your nose as well.

Sorry, this turned out to be more of a rant than a mental health check in.

Anyway – my mental health has been up and down. A recurrent theme is that I’m fine if I don’t look at the news, and I think that’s the case for a lot of people. I started to listen to the radio again so that I could get a bit of normality back when it came to my work day (also because I ended up constantly singing along to the playlist I’d queued up and wasn’t getting anything done), but after cases started to rise again that idea was all shot to hell. I went through a brief period of obsessively checking the numbers every day to see if things were picking up again, and it ended up doing much more harm than good. Ultimately, I’ve decided that denial right now is the best thing for me.

Okay, so it’s not the healthiest way of dealing with things, but I feel as we all did at the start of the lockdown here in the UK, you gotta do what you gotta do. 

I think we all thought this would be over by now, but nonetheless, we’re coming to the end of 2020, and we’re still nowhere near the end of this shitshow. I’m already thinking of how hammered I’m going to get on new year’s eve this year (if we’re even allowed to spend it with our loved ones – fuck it, I’ll get shitfaced in my living room watching whatever pre-recorded crap they throw at us on the telly if I have to. You can’t stop me there Boris). I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about Christmas, because I am. I’m terrified I won’t be able to see my Mum on Christmas day, and that we won’t be able to have our usual amazing Christmas dinner at my mother in law’s house. I want to cheer myself up by starting my Christmas shopping, but part of me is worrying that I’m jinxing it by doing so.

I guess overall, I’m not okay, but I’m not necessarily in a bad place either. It’s weird. I guess if you could say anything, it’s that I’m a bit fragile. Okay, a LOT fragile. As you can probably tell from this very ranty, structure free post, my brain is a goddamn shit tip. I’m on four gins a night at the moment to cope – although I’m looking for alternatives. I might take a leaf out of Chris Ramsey’s book and go for a birthday cake a week like he said a few months ago on the Shagged Married Annoyed podcast (it’s what it sounds – you buy a birthday cake and eat the fuck out of it over the week). Other current coping strategies include:

  • Rewatching Normal People – I’m on round twelve. No YOU have the problem.
  • Listening to Taylor Swift’s Folklore on repeat.
  • Cleaning my house – it’s so goddamn satisfying.
  • Floofing my cat’s tummy – it’s just so fluffy and she’s just so precious.
  • Rewatching Parks and Recreation – Ben Wyatt is life. 

Anyway, apologies if this post makes no sense or offends you – as I mentioned before, there wasn’t necessarily any planned structure to it, it was purely just a way of getting my topical thoughts out. 

Normal processes will resume next week – stay safe pals.

16 thoughts on “Anxious Ramblings 6 | Contamination OCD & the Coronavirus Pandemic 3: Surely It Should Be Over By Now?

  1. Thanks for the honest update. 2020 has definitely been a shit show. I think we all thought things might be more normal by now but here we are. I honestly don’t know what to think any more. I’m staying home, doing all the right things, and wearing my mask when I do go out for essential trips.

    The area in Canada where I live has a relatively low number of cases which is a good thing. I’m sad to see so many local businesses closing their doors and going out of business. These are the businesses that give our towns and cities personality. When this is all over, I fear we’ll be left with the big money-grabbing chains and every town will be the same as the next one. Sad.

    Well…that turned into a bit of a rant too! LOL

    Look after yourself. We will get through this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My brother and his family live in Canada and from what I’ve heard they’ve had nothing as bad as we’ve had over here in the UK – I’d be very interested to know what they’ve done that’s so different! I completely agree with you on the local businesses though, it’s so sad to see them closing down as a result. I think like you say, the best we can do is just staying at home, wearing your mask, and washing your hands. Thank you for reading 🙂 x

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  2. I didn’t know it was OCD awareness week. I can’t imagine how difficult the pandemic must be for a lot of people with OCD.

    I needed mask wearing to be made a legal requirement to force me to by pass my anxiety disorders, I wished they’d do it sooner as I risked my life for no good reason until it became law

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely – in a way I’m grateful that I’m at the point in my recovery that I am, I feel as though if I was where I was a few years ago I’d be finding it even tougher! I was the same as well re. masks – I felt as though while I had the choice it was better for me to not wear them (I didn’t go out much anyway) but now it’s been made a legal requirement the decision has been made for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with so much of what you’re saying in this post. It’s beyond me how anyone thought that gathering people from all across the country into uni accommodation wouldn’t spread the virus but there we are. Like you, I stay away from incessant news coverage (once a day is sufficient) and yesssss to floofing cat tummies, they are the best! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lisa, it’s reassuring that I’m not the only one who thinks this! I feel like they’re just blaming everyone for the rise in cases when we were just doing as we were told – eating out on the cheap, going to pubs etc – they told us it was safe so you can’t blame people! Floofing Tilly’s tummy has actually been my lifeline these last few weeks! x

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  4. oh my goodness, yes! It is incredibly infuriating when people complain about masks. I am embarrassed for them. It is the least we could do.
    I try not to think about the upcoming months because it can get depressing if we start thinking that Christmas will be spent at home alone. We all need to hang in there. A birthday cake a week sounds divine! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling a bit fragile right now but it’s completely justified considering the situation we’re in. I don’t think it’s fair to blame all young people for this rise, considering everyone was told to go back to college and University and young people make up the majority of the retail workforce which was also forced to go back to work?

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    1. Completely agree – it’s not the fault of young people at all, they were just doing as they were told and going off to uni/college. I do feel as though the government were quick to blame all of us – even though they told us to eat out, go to the pub, go back to work etc.

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    1. I’ve been doing the same – I go out once a week to see my Mum and for occasional meet ups with friends. I don’t particularly want to go anywhere anymore! Also re. Ben Wyatt – I’m glad it’s not just me! Thank you for reading xx

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  6. I can relate to EVERYTHING in this post 😆 My cousins have gone back to school and I’m keeping away 👀 A family member went to uni and caught Covid! They’re fine now but it’s scary just how it’s gone around the students.

    Have you considered wearing a visor rather than a mask? Not sure whether it would make a difference. You’re also probably sick of people suggesting it 😆 if I had a pound for every-time my Nan has suggested it because of my anxiety, I’d have my own private island by now!

    It sounds like you’re doing really well with all the shit being thrown at us! Be proud xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, I haven’t actually thought of a visor! Might have to look into it – I’m certainly getting more used to the masks now thankfully!
      I don’t blame you for keeping away with your cousins – I’d be exactly the same! My mum works in a school and the worry I have about her is insane – I know she’s careful but at the same time it’s difficult to stop worrying!

      Thank you – I think that the fact we’ve been told to keep working from home for a bit longer has really helped especially! Hope you’re doing okay too xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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