I feel the fear of this never going away. I feel the fear of the impact of the actions of others on us all.

@Outdoorperscrip #MadCovidDiaries – 6th of October 2020

Content warning:

Why do I find it so difficult when people break rules? I know it’s something I’ve always struggled with. It’s made me unpopular in work settings when I’ve pulled people up on not doing things properly or rule breaking. I’ve often worked in settings where the people that have been using our service have been members of the public. My view has always been that I want to do my best for other people and I find it unbearable when others don’t feel the same.

Yesterday I went in a car with my Mum to drive to a local open space to walk. This is presently the riskiest thing that I do in terms of what I see as risk from Covid. It took many months even after restrictions were eased to feel that this was an okay thing to do and I still feel scared. Neither of us are really coming into contact with others, I travel in the back of the car, we both wear masks and shiver with the windows open. It was my first time of travelling through a more populated area in weeks. My brain was confronted by people congregating in groups larger that 6, people wearing masks incorrectly and people not social distancing.

Previously being confronted by people not following rules was an occasional thing, now just a short drive through the city overwhelms my brain. I feel the panic rising, even though I am in the car. I feel the fear of this never going away. I feel the fear of the impact of the actions of others on us all.

Out in the open space no-one is around, I can relax and breathe again.
When I received my autism diagnosis it helped me to understand why I found certain things difficult. In learning more about autism I learnt how I could request adjustments to adapt things to meet my needs. I also learnt what the triggers were for anxieties and stress and found better ways of managing them. The more regulations that have come in during the pandemic, the more rules there are for people to follow. I have agreed with the rules, so don’t resent their introduction, it’s just the level of rules for people to break is ever increasing. On one hand I desperately miss being able to go to a supermarket or to have an hot drink in a café, but on the other I can’t cope with the burnout and overload that it brings. I am a logical and practical person, I love to problem solve and find solutions. I don’t know what the solution is to something which is part of my thinking and neurological make up. I think the answer right now is to continue avoiding situations that involve being confronted with rule breaking and to find a way of accepting that for now that is okay, whilst holding tight to the hope that things will change in the future.

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