I was reading about concerns over “in-person corporate worship gatherings” yesterday. I think they are talking about “services” as I used to know them. Official advice always seem to prefer a disconnect. Makes it legitimately deniable if anyone drops down dead. Official advice has to remove “human” because we are all so diverse individually. And church teaches it is in this world but not of this world … ? Official advice about “in-person corporate worship gatherings” tells me otherwise.
The Group is desperate for more (promised this week) official advice.
When I got my driving licence years ago it wasn’t because I was on a list that said I could. I sweated buckets (sometimes embarrassingly so) learning the craft of driving before taking a test to assess my competencies and driving-skills.
When I became a first-time parent there were more books than I could read to tell me how-to every step of the way. Just none that had been written for our child. But we new-parents were supported in so many ways before, during and after.
When our children left home to live independently (in that “I know it all I don’t need you telling me how” manner they all had), it was after years of them learning how to be independent. Years and years of testing (our patience)!
We do things by baby-steps. We grow our comfort zones a little at a time. We are not officially allowed to live in ways that put us in harm. Now let’s talk shielding …
Formal advice. Become a hermit until we tell you otherwise. You will die (although we won’t phrase it like that) if you let Rona near you.
Consequence? I fear everyone and everything. I lose my independence. I become reliant. I have little physical contact or community. I saved the NHS (!!) but at great cost to me.
(and if I test living with anything other than solitary confinement I suffer guilt by the bucket as others judge me kindly or critically)
I now need – much more than “the before” – to be told what to do. Because the fear instilled in me I cannot shake overnight. All the “medical advice” and “science led policy” tells me Rona roams everywhere outside my front door. I am at the end of my tether. Damned if I do and damned if I don’t.
I called the Blood Donation line yesterday. Stopped my regular donations when shielding began. I like donating. My blood has particles that are useful to others. Not platelets. I don’t produce enough to be a donor for platelets we found out. But I like giving blood. Putting something back (literally). It reminds me of love each time. I donate “a pint” (or the metric number for the bag I fill) and my body goes “No problemo Paul, I’ll make more – you keep giving and I’ll keep giving back.” Just like love does.
Anyway … I asked if I could donate wearing my helmet. Explained as best I could. Could hear the confused silence at the other end: “Where’s the official scripted response for this …” They don’t have one. Official advice is “masks and hand sanitiser”. But I have tested my safety in my helmet. I have the confidence to give blood in my helmet. Confidence much much more than “masks and hand sanitiser”. THAT is them telling me they will be responsible for my safety while I am giving blood – just not between leaving my home and getting there – nor doing the reverse home again. They don’t take blood in a remote tent away from everyone – they set-up shop in a built-up city centre place. That I must navigate to get there and back from. I need my level of safe not yours.
I am waiting for a callback from someone senior.
Which for me sums up the dilemma that is shielding.
Isolate me. Instil in me fear of everything. Distance me from those I love. Expect those I love to turn their lives upside down for me. Keep me like that for one quarter of one whole year. But DO NOT expect that I will be the same person I was in “the before”.
Except that “official advice” does expect me to become the person I was simply by removing my name from The List … giving me a different classification … either extending my isolation or removing my protection in isolation … And my transformation from that to this is dictated by a calendar date … really?
(when all the daily information, advice, “science led this” and “medical graph that” ALL says that Rona roams ready to get me as soon as I step foot outside)
Please understand that NO ONE is ever expected to live that way. We are all taught we (officially) CANNOT “live in ways that put us in harm”. That is how I was brought up. That is how I have lived every day of my life. So what has changed? What means I am officially allowed to go from shielding to not shielding with no practice, exploring, learning and finding out how to be safe again?
THAT is asking me to put myself in harm’s way. And that is not right.
I have chosen to explore “the beyond” of shielding while still shielding (just not with any official endorsement). Mrs Paul and I still blow kisses from six feet. Still dissolve the fixtures and fittings daily with bleach. Have invested £s in my sanity (that we know as The Helmet). Are still shielding from harm (just not taking the official advice literally and out of all context).
I have no fear of being de-listed. I can travel in my helmet and stay safe. I can have others not social distance around me. I have had so many cuddles! My life will not change much whether on The List or removed from it. Rona is still out there and I now feel safe living with Rona. Much more than living with the probability of redundancy.
And yet I may not be able to give blood in a way that makes me safe. That begs a question of “official advice” and the future (update to follow).
Another Nana Day today! The noise of living soon to be wafting upstairs again.
I love shielding!