Exactly one year ago, on March 12, 2020, I was supposed to go to London for the weekend. The purpose of the short trip: a meet-up with several friends from all over to see Uncle Vanya in the Harold Pinter Theatre. March 12 was a Thursday, and the previous couple of days two of my fan friends – Kate and LoLo – had already had to cancel their trips in view of the developing Corona crisis. I had held out hope until the last minute, but when on the Tuesday evening I heard two health experts say on Irish TV that they advised everyone only to travel if absolutely necessary, I also took the decision to cancel. Admittedly, it was a bit easier for me to cancel the whole thing – I had been lucky enough to watch the play in mid-January; so I did not miss out on an
opportunity to see RA live fandom event. But I was sad to miss my friends – and the excitement of being in London. And then there was also the whole administrative hassle of cancelling flights and tickets…
A year on. And somehow, things are not much better than back in March 2020. If we had known what was coming, would we have despaired immediately? Strict lockdowns, closure of pubs and shops, work-from-home. College and school taking place on zoom only. No holidays abroad. Not seeing our families and friends. Who would’ve thought anything like that? And it is still not over, and I am still not used to this new reality. The slow pace of vaccination in Europe is deeply frustrating. I look at the US or the UK, Russia and Israel, and I am astounded how far those countries are. Why are things progressing so slowly here? Has someone effed up? Ireland has vaccinated about 5% of the population. They are still vaccinating the over-70s and haven’t even started on people with serious medical conditions yet. (My husband’s condition is listed on the list of serious conditions that require early vaccination; he has not heard from his hospital department yet.) I am so frustrated, I could scream.
I can also sense that this year of uncertainty, stress and fear has taken its toll on my mental and physical health. I’ve been feeling physically shitty for months, with a constant ringing in my ears, a mysterious sore leg and just general feeling off. In the past, I have always felt that “anxiety” was mostly used as a free pass by people who wanted a bit of attention, but I am beginning to understand what anxiety means – a constant worry, overthinking things and unable to stop, a weight on my chest, as well as strange dreams that border on nightmares. And I really, really just want all this crap to be over. I haven’t seen a doctor in 12 months, even though I feel I should – but with the threat of the virus looming, I just don’t want to go anywhere near where it is most likely to be lurking.
But no, I’m not giving in to anxiety. I’m distracting myself with crafty stuff and pretty pictures whenever I can.
Circling back to the beginning of this post – Uncle Vanya. Maybe today would be the ideal day to watch the recording of the play – I passed on my
bloody luxurious ticket for a fourth row seat (D10), including a pre-theatre champagne experience in the “Ambassador Lounge”, with champagne, snacks and ice cream, for free to an unknown person who happened to be in London that day. (Never heard back from her again – I hope she enjoyed it.) But then this play is not really a mood-lifter, and really, I just don’t want to wallow even more in morose thoughts than I already do. (Which also means that neither My Zoe nor Spacesweepers are an option, either – sci-fi dramas with RA as asshole characters. Can the man please get a job in a comedy again? *huffs*)
Sigh. At least we are now transitioning into spring time. There’s always hope, right? Stay well, stay safe, everybody. We *will* get through this!