As I type, the news is telling me that, tomorrow, the UK Government will announce that from May 17 people will be allowed to hug one another again.
According to the Telegraph, the Prime Minister will encourage ‘common sense’ when conducting said hugging. I’m not sure what this means. Presumably people who were going to cuddle while hanging upside down or standing on their heads are pretty peeved right now.
But that’s not the point of my blog today.
Of course, this is another step in the right direction. We’re poised for a return to life as it was pre-pandemic. Soon you can hug (common sense applies)! Soon there’ll be larger gatherings! Soon you can sit inside rather than freezing your under-crackers off outside!
Um. Anyone else experiencing a twinge of re-entry anxiety at the prospect of normal business being resumed?
Now the shopping shackles are off am I rushing back to the High Street? Am I enthusiastically entering events now they are back on the cards? Am I celebrating the return of hugs?
Don’t get me wrong, I am relieved in so many ways that the public health graphs are going in the right direction. But I’m still nervous. Truth is, I don’t really want to go back to the way some things were. That’s the problem with the past, it’s easy to coat it in sentiment and varnish it with nostalgia.
I talk to other people and they say ‘me too! I feel so silly – I thought it was just me.’
It’s never just you.
Just as living with restrictions took some getting used to, so will finding our way out. It’s the fear, you see. It takes a little longer to go like that unwanted gate-crasher at a party.
For now, I’ll keep going at my own pace; ease my way into the easing. I’ll take small steps and draw comfort from the fact that other people feel the same.
As the Beautiful South sang ‘I need a little space to work it out’.