Lifestyle & Fashion Blogger

17 August 2020

Shielding Is Over! But I'm Still Afraid To Go Out.

22 weeks
154 days 
3696 hours
221,760 minutes


Shielding is OVER! For now anyway. 


I have finally reached the end of my shielding sentence without going completely insane. Well, mostly. It's been a proper rollercoaster (scuse the cliché) of emotions, highs lows, lots of watching The Repair Shop on repeat (new addiction) and wearing pillows for a lockdown challenge. 


As much as I'm excited to be let off the leash and be able to go outside, safely of course, I seem to have grown a FOGO (Fear Of Going Out).


Let's face it, the virus is still in society and hasn't gone away, no matter how low numbers are in terms of the R rate. I live in Wales and infection rates seem to be low at the moment (touch wood). But that doesn't stop me feeling worried about venturing out in the outside world again. 


A CF friend of mine Ellie put it perfectly in this tweet -  

I feel exactly the same. I feel that I'm being rushed to go outside when I don't feel ready and safe to. People have just assumed that just because my shielding date is come and gone, it means the virus has miraculously disappeared and I can hop on a plane for a week's holiday. Nah, it doesn't work like that.



Like Ellie, we will make the decision to go out when WE feel comfortable to, just because the government have given us the thumbs up to leave the house, it doesn't mean it's safe to do so. Would you want to follow the advice of a government that have basically done a titting awful job on handling this pandemic? Hmm, think about that one.


But yes, I seemed to have FOGO right now and I can't shake it off. I still feel wary of everything and everyone right now. Is it wrong that I'm looking at people and wondering if they got the virus in them (asymptomatic) and are not presenting any symptoms but could easily pass it on to me? 


If I do go out, which is usually to take my Mam to the corner shop, hairdressers or dentist, I wear a mask. Even if I'm sat in the car, I only do that when the window is open, as they say, the virus can stay airborne. I just don't want to chance anything. Am I slowly becoming a hypochondriac? Or am I just being careful like I'm supposed to be? 



I'm actually debating giving the psychologist on my CF team a call and asking them about this. I don't want to become agoraphobic or a recluse. That's something that scares me, just as much as going out right now. 


I'm lucky that I live in Wales and I have only followed Wales' guidelines in terms of their easing of lockdown and the phases which they have eased us in to. I will be going back to work soon and as I work with adults who bring their children to a play centre, it doesn't fill me with much excitement, it fills me more with fear. As much as I want to go back to work, I'm still going to be very anxious about dealing with customers again. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.


I will pace myself when it comes to going out properly. I will be wearing my face mask, gloves, carrying hand gel and keeping out of everyone's way for the time being. Things won't be the same for a while, it's a new normal we all have to get used to. For people who are shielding, we have to be extra careful than we were before - and it doesn't fill us with reassurance.


So here's a little bit of advice/wisdom for those who know somebody who is shielding. Just because our shielding sentence is over, it doesn't mean that the virus has disappeared and that we're no longer in a pandemic. It's still out there, it could still seriously make us ill or even kill us. Don't think that we're boring or being wimps for not wanting to go out with you eg to a restaurant, to the shopping centre or to the park for a picnic, we still have to be extremely careful. Our immune systems need time to readjust to the outside world again. Our mental health is still recovering from not seeing loved ones and being afraid of the outside world. Be kind, don't judge and bear with us. This is even scarier for us as it is for you.



If you've been shielding, how do you feel about going out again?

78 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this post with such honesty. I'm not shielding but do feel incredibly stressed about leaving the house still. I've ventured to my local shopping centre twice now and to the supermarket quite often but, it's still very scary. The virus is still with us and we shouldn't be carrying on as though life is normal now. Everything has changed and it's okay to still want to stay home. Contacting your CF team or psychologist sounds like a great idea to help calm some nerves and reassure you too.

    Kate | thelittlecrunch.co.uk

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    1. The supermarket must be a scary place to go to right now, some people don't care about social distancing while in there x

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  2. I think its wise to take it at your own pace! I didn't think it was airborne though. My gran was shielding and she at her own pace as been going back to doing some normal activities. We took her for a meal the other day and she actually enjoyed it. I think the more you do the easier it might become. But obviously talk to your CF team because its not worth putting yourself at risk either.

    https://www.emilyclareskinner.com

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    1. Thank you Emily! Aww bless her, it's great to hear that your Nan is getting back to normal and doing the activities that she's loves! I will speak to them in the next few days now x

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  3. Thank you for sharing your experience, I feel like this is something I wouldn't have really understood if I hadn't come across your post. I am lucky to be living in Canada where the cases are low, but it is still frightening to think of going back to work in schools this September. There is definitely no rush to go outside, I think what matters most is that you feel safe and comfortable in whatever you choose to do xx

    My Lovelier Days

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    1. It's good to hear that the cases in Canada are low Diana. My Mum works in a school and I'm dreading her going back to work in September! xx

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  4. I do still feel very anxious and paranoid about leaving the house during this time, especially when I have to be on a crowded train to and from work. But life is going on in my country, we just have to wear masks!

    I hope you stay safe, as well as everyone else around you x

    🌿 Marissa Belle × marsybun.com 🌿

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    1. I couldn't think of anything worse than being on a crowded train at this moment in time Marissa, I don't know how you do that everyday! Stay safe too lovely x

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  5. I think you're totally right to be wary. And nobody should be feeling pressured to go out or do anything they don't want to do right now. I'm not in a high risk category but I definitely feel a bit wary around people now as well! x

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    1. I agree Jenny, I've had people with CF message me saying their being pressured by family members to go out which is so unfair. People do make me wary, especially those who don't follow social distancing x

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  6. I don't blame you at all for still being wary, you take as long as you need to. It's so weird that people think they can pressure others to go out when there is still a small risk, it's not fair at all. Stay safe lovely xx

    Hannah | https://luxuryblush.co.uk/

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    1. No it's not lovely, I've had friends who have been shielding be pressured by their loved ones to go out and it's not fair, like you said, there's still a risk out there! Stay safe also lovely! xx

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  7. I think it's absolutely understandable how you feel about venturing out freely. I haven't been out of the house myself for quite some time now, even though restrictions have definitely eased a lot here. It might do you good to check with your CF counselor, if for nothing else but to just have some friendly advice on board.

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    1. I think the easing of restrictions hasn't really helped because people feel they can do as they choose and not social distance etc. I will lovely thank you

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  8. I think it is totally understandable to be weary. It is another change to get used to too I bet, especilly with how long you have been shileding for, it is extrememly anxiety provoking! From what I have seen there are people who are clearly stitcking to the social distancing/wearing masks etc, and then you have the individuals who think that everything is over and that there is no risk. Everything should be done in your own time, and not how others perceive the situation.

    Thanks for sharing Lucy!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

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    1. Yeah it's just that small minority who don't care about others and ignore social distancing rules which really frustrates me! xx

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  9. I think you're completely right to be wary about not going out. There is still so much uncertainty in the world. I've been out a few times wearing a mask of course and it's been fine but I hate it when I'm in a supermarket and people are wearing masks on their chins!! x

    Zoey | www.zoeyolivia.com

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    1. Oh when they wear their masks under their chins it drives me nuts! x

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  10. I feel the same if I'm honest. I'm back to work and all, but barely anyone is wearing masks as advised. My partner and I wear ours to protect not only ourselves, but those who can't wear them for what ever reason. I just wish more customers gave a toot about other people.

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    1. It's shocking in a way how many people won't wear masks (except those who are exemplary from wearing them) one thing I've learnt during the whole of this pandemic is how selfish people can be

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  11. Thank you for sharing with such raw honesty! I totally feel for you. I've not had to shield, but I do feel like the pandemic has made me more of a hypochondriac too! I think everyone will take this at their own pace and shouldn't feel rushed into doing anything they're not comfortable with too soon - like you said, the virus is still out there.

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    1. I'm glad it's not just me who feels like more of a hypochondriac! It's important that those who have been shielding take things at their own pace.

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  12. Oh I resonate with this so much! I went into town for the first times in months over the weekend and it was shocking to see how it's pretty much back to business as usual. I've found that I feel claustrophobic when wearing a mask, so that alone has me weary about leaving the house. No one should feel guilty about not feeling confident about leaving the house! x

    Evie x | www.eviejayne.co.uk

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    1. I think people just think now that the shops and pubs are open, everything is ok again and that the virus has gone when it hasn't! You're right Evie, no one should make anyone feel guilty for not feeling confident enough to leave the house! x

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  13. Even though I didn’t shield, I am still super wary! I always have my mask on in shops, on buses and other places. I don’t get how people think everything is over! It’s so dumb! You do what is best for you! 💛

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    1. Oh I know, it's frustrating that people think it's all over when it isn't!

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  14. I definitely understand how you're feeling. I haven't had to shield but I am wary about going outside, I live in a city centre so even when I need to pop to the shops recently it's been so busy, it's like nothing has happened for the last 6 months or so. I always wear my mask though and have hand sani with me all the time. My family live away so I have had to get on a train recently which I was definitely worried to go on! You're absolutely right though, you go out when you're ready to, no one should force you to xx

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    1. It's insane how people are just returning to normal when the normal is different! What was it like being on the train Chloe? I couldn't even think about using public transport right now! xx

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  15. Girl, I feel exactly the same way. Even though there was no medical need for me to shield, being in the slightly higher risk (but not dangerously high risk) category made me very cautious. I've been to a supermarket a few times, B&Q once and Caffe Nero 3 times and they're the only times I've been out other than walking Hugo. I have no desire to eat out or go anywhere too public yet and that's totally fine. No one should feel rushed to go anywhere before they're ready. Everyone's situations and comfort levels are different, we need to respect that x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. You got to do what makes you feel comfortable Sophie, it's nice to hear that you have ventured out into shops and that, you're absolutely right, we need to respect people's decisions and wellbeing x

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  16. I completely agree with what your saying in this post. My nan has been shielding and we are still so scared about her going back out into the world that we as a family have decided to continue with her shielding for now.

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    1. That sounds like a good decision Kelly, it's better to be safe than sorry.

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  17. So glad I'm not the only one obsessed with The Repair Shop, it's such a great show!
    And I relate to a lot of this post, although I'm not shielding any more, there's still an air of panic about this. I had fears of becoming a bit of a recluse too, and while the anxiety doesn't disappear, it's surprising how well we can adapt to things. But I love your mindset on this, especially on not judging ourselves or other people for their choices. Take care! 🧡

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

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    1. I absolutely adore it Anika, it's so good!
      I'm hoping I can adapt to things pretty well when I'm ready to step outside properly again!
      Take care too lovely x

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  18. I completely understand where you are coming from! I was shielding to help my Mum as she was shielding and is extremely high risk. We still haven't been out to the shops or anywhere in public spaces. I already suffered with bad health anxiety so in someways how I feel is just normal for me but just more avoidance behaviour than I am used to. I definitely feel like you have to stick to what you feel comfortable with and do not let anyone else force you to do something you're not comfortable with. We're all just trying to survive this and we're all going to cope in different ways. Stay safe lovely xx

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.co.uk

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    1. I hope your Mum and yourself are doing ok shielding Lauren! You just have to take things at your own pace and just do things that only you're comfortable with.
      Stay safe too lovely! xx

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  19. Brilliant post Lucy.

    I think I’d be fearful about going out as well if I’d been shielding, I suspect how you feel is completely normal.

    Opening up about it might be enough to make you feel better about it as I’m 100% sure others feel the same.

    Take your time and stay safe my lovely x

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  20. I completely understand where you're coming from, and no, and I don't think you're being a hypochondriac. The statistics and the things we're being told are very frightening. And like you, I don't REALLY understand why lockdown has been relaxed so much when there is clearly still a very real risk of contracting the disease.

    My husband is a high risk as someone with an immune suppressed disease, so he was locked down tight at the very beginning. The in turn, meant I was too. Because I was the greatest risk to him if I was to leave the house. So I didn't.

    Even though he's been given the green light to venture out as usual (except for the mask) and has gone back to work, I'm not happy with him doing so because I'm still afraid for his safety. So in fact, rather than him being the one fearful on contracting anything... it's me instead!

    I've still barely left the house and I'm putting off going back to work as much as possible because the things I see and hear frighten me for his welfare and mine. It's a very unnerving place to be mentally, so if you need someone to talk to I'm always available to listen.

    Laura // www.laurahasablog.co.uk

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    1. I just can't fathom why the government think it's ok to ease lockdown so easily and quickly when there's still a high risk of catching the virus!
      It must be an anxious time for you both, especially now he's gone back to work! He seems to be ok with being back in work as you said, you're more worried than he is!
      I don't blame you for putting off going back to work lovely, you go back when you feel ready to.
      Thank you Laura, I'm always here if you need a chat too x

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  21. Such a lovely and honest post! I think it's so easy to forget about those that have been shielding that going out again isn't as simple as it might seem - the virus is still here!

    Tash // A Girl with a View

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    1. Thank you Tash! It's not going to be simple for those shielding to go back out normally again, like you said, the virus is still out there!

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  22. Listen yourself and do what you think that is best for you.

    New Post - https://www.exclusivebeautydiary.com/2020/07/ysl-rouge-pur-couture-17-rose-dahlia.html

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  23. I'm going out to town this week and it'll be my first time going anywhere other than the supermarket - some moments I feel fine about it, other times I feel so anxious. And now not sure if I'm going to go. It's been a weird time


    Susan Books Etc

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    1. You only go if you feel ready and comfortable to Susan, only you know if you're ready to and don't feel pressured to just because others are going out to town.

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  24. I totally understand what you mean. I have been back at work for a while now and I’m only just starting to feel normal. It takes time to feel safe again and all you have to do is do what is comfortable for you! X

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    1. How do you find being in work right now Aaliyah? Does it feel weird being back in work? x

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  25. Love the way you write by the way Lucy! I think this is the same for so many people, it's not as easy as just getting back to normal! Do what you feel most comfortable with and take it one step at a time 😊

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    1. Thank you so much! I will definitely take my time that is for sure!

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  26. I didn't have a choice but to leave my apartment, to work in the office but I understand how you feel, I'd stay home if I could too. Do what you want and don't be pressured to do anything you don't want to do, it is for the safety of your health and your loved ones :) Take care and stay safe!


    Shuana
    howivebeen.com

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    1. Thank you lovely, I will take things at my own pace, stay safe too!

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  27. Hello Lucy, I understand you completely, I am not ready to leave yet and I do not think I will be soon, as you said, the virus has not disappeared and that does not give me security, my parents are old and I can't stop thinking about them! Regards :)

    www.lavieenrosechic.com

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    1. Aww bless, I hope you and your parents are doing ok and staying safe, it is a difficult time for us all right now x

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  28. Thank you for sharing this lovely. Hope your doing okay and definitely take your time with all this as it’s a big thing to process. You do what’s comfortable for you xx

    Isobel x

    New post: https://www.fashionistachic.co.uk/2020/07/fashion-3-playsuits-you-need-for-summer.html?m=1#more
    Insta: https://www.instagram.com/isobelceline/
    New video: https://youtu.be/93x2lPyDG7k

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    1. Thank you Isobel, I hope you are doing ok also, take care lovely! xx

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  29. Oh Lucy, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. I completely agree with you - the idea that it's suddenly somehow safe for those with weakened immune systems is extremely harmful and ableist. If an otherwise healthy person can still get sick then in my opinion, the risk is still too high for anyone but especially those who needed shielding in the first place.

    I suffer from social anxiety so can completely relate to the FOMO. When I do *have* to go out, I find it's less stressful if I can control certain things like what time we go or how we're getting there. When you feel comfortable to start going out, do it on your terms and at your own pace. Don't feel like you need to rush back into it. ❤

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    1. I agree Hayley, I find it a little irresponsible from the government to say that it's safe for people who are shielding to leave the house now when the virus is still out there in full force.
      Like you said, if a healthy person can still get sick from it, it's hardly safer for people who are shielding is it?!
      It must be hard going out for you right now lovely, especially with all these rules we have to follow x

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  30. You honestly need to get back out and about at your own pace, it's okay to still be concerned and if you don't feel safe it's definetly not worth the risk. I'm in a fortunate position that I don't have a weak immune system, but I still get wearer being out and about. Take your time, there is no rush! Stay safe x

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    1. Thank you Kelly, it's hard not be weary when being out and about is it? Stay safe lovely and take care! x

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  31. I have no words for this except for BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL. The way you expressed yourself was amazing to read and your B&W photos just added so much more depth to the post! Stay strong, keep your head up, and heart out!

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    1. Oh thank you so much! I'm really glad enjoyed reading the post!

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  32. I think you're going about this is in a really practical and considerate way. A lot of people went out too soon and then they either infected someone else, got sick themselves, or just made others feel bad about *not* going out. I'm trying to be cautious and really consider all my options when making the decision to go out or not. Glad to read this!

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    1. Thank you Stephanie! You're right lovely, I think because of that incentive of being able to go out again, people have either made others sick or caught something from someone else. The ones who are going out freely are the ones that are making people feel bad for not going out which is wrong!

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  33. I think it was Eleanor Roosevelt that said something like no-one can make you feel bad without your consent - you do you, Lucy, no-one should be made to feel they need to do anything they don't want to do or feel 100% comfortable doing. x

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    1. I like the sound of that quote Lisa! Thank you lovely, like I said in the post, I'm just going to take my time with everything x

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  34. I agree with you. People need to go at their own pace. There are far too many people I know with compromised immune systems, and forcing them back into society or the population is doing more harm than good. I know it is a double edged sword, but safety and health come first. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it was a welcomed conversation.

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    1. Absolutely, why we're being forced back into society when the virus is still circulating is beyond me! You're right, our health and wellbeing should come first!

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  35. Thankyou so much for sharing this post and how you feel about shielding being over. This post is written beautifully with such honesty x

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  36. I understand you, I feel same way but it is better to keep shileding ones self until we are so sure. No need t fear but do the needful

    Thank you for sharing
    Have a lovely weekend

    https://www.melodyjacob.com/2020/08/poem-to-my-faraway-lover.html

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    1. You're right lovely, you should only go out when you feel safe and ready to! Have a lovely weekend too!

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  37. I think everyone needs to do what they are ready for in their own time. I'm equally the same with people guilt tripping others who go away or are out and about. As long as you're still abiding my the rules, I think everyone needs to do what's comfortable for them xx

    www.iridescentplaces.com

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    1. You're right lovely, we should only do what is comfortable for ourselves and ignore what others are telling us to do xx

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  38. I think this is so important, especially because the virus hasn't gone anywhere!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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  39. Thank you for sharing, it must be a very strange time for you now that shielding has ended what do you do, go out or not.

    I must admit being the middle vulnerable category I'm still nervous going out as people don't seem to not understand social distancing even though we have been nearly doing it for 6 months, and when you confront them they look at you oddly (I got this look when I was out walking this weekend). Also people not wearing masks to, it just gets me annoyed as at work I can't challenge people to

    Take you time, not to rush until you feel your ready to face the world again :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

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    1. Yes it is at the moment Nic, it's trying to find out what's safe and what isn't right now.
      You're right lovely, it annoys me when people don't follow social distancing and that's one thing I'm dreading when I go out again is people standing or sitting too close to me.
      People not wearing masks really annoys me, it's not exactly hard is it?!
      Thank you lovely, make sure you do the same too!

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