Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Feeling vulnerable during Covid-19

I'm a 48 year old woman, fit and healthy (ish) not having to worry financially and living in a nice house in a nice town in the UK. My husband is 3000 miles away in Dubai and we're separated for the foreseeable future.
We're used to spending a lot of time apart with his job, travelling and with our family in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Australia. But we always have an end date, a flight home booked and we often meet up up and join one another on our trips.

We think nothing of booking a flight, jumping on a plane, collecting car hire, sorting hotels and travelling at the drop of a hat, on our own or together. We've had a lot of adventures living in South Africa and Dubai and in between. Raising 5 children between us, one with profound disabilities. Managing lives in different countries, maintaining homes and lives simultaneously and dealing with death.

So yes we're capable, together and on our own we are able top look after ourselves and others when needed.

We're also lonely and isolated. Peter is in Dubai on his own, he is working from home.

I'm in the UK in our former family home but on my own (cat and dog don't count when it comes to feeling vulnerable) and this post isn't about being lonely.

Last Friday morning at 6am I fell down the stairs, I banged my head, my shoulder and jarred my neck. I slipped on the last 5 steps.

Peter had conference calls and wasn't due to ring me till 9am UK time. I'm ok now but it got me thinking....what if?

We have a plan, we've never had to implement it. If I can't get hold of Peter throughout a working day or when he's travelling he will message me in response to my calls to say he's in meetings, he will then phone at the earliest opportunity. When I'm travelling I will send him messages throughout the day, notifying him of my current location and when I'm due to be back at the house or my next destination.

There have been times of minor worries such as when I've taken a 24 hour trip and haven't had access to the internet, but we've still been able to make quick short and expensive telephone calls to say we're ok.

My mum messages or facebooks me everyday, so I know she's OK, if I couldn't get hold of her my niece and her husband live in the town. I've also got a car now so I could drive down. My MIL lives near her daughter and grandchildren, so they are around to check in on her.

The rest of our family and friends live with their partner or have older children at home, or like my husband and youngest child who are working daily and their absence would be noticed.

My next door neighbour and I have joked that the Thursday night clap for key workers has turned into a roll call for the street, but even she has her sister and a nephew dropping off her shopping. I see different neighbours daily, who ask if I need anything and hear them in their gardens and I know they hear me when I'm calling the dog or the cat.

Friends are checking in with me, my friends who I have regular contact with are either abroad or don't know one another. I'm not asking for anyone to take responsibility for me. I'm not vulnerable due to health, but I'm feeling vulnerable after falling down the stairs and realising I could have lain there for about 12 hours before Peter would've put the plan into action.

Just try to remember we're all struggling with this lockdown, whether it's financially, emotionally with home schooling and our health or physically going out to as a key worker everyday that we're all feeling vulnerable right now and that includes those of us who don't have financial or physical problems, children to teach or key worker jobs, we're just going through it differently.

I often feel isolated and lonely, this is the first time I've really felt vulnerable.


  1. Well. I hope you're feeling OK after that fall Suzanne.I would feel vulnerable if I was on my own. It sounds like you have plenty of people on the other end of a phone if need be though. I'm sure one of them would notice if you weren't in touch xx

    1. yes people would notice, b ut these people don't know each other so it could be a while. Thankfully I'm used to carrying my phone with me all the time when I'm at home alone

  2. I totally understand your feeling. That must have been so frightening. I've got a friend who lives on her own, so I like to check in on her via Whatsapp every day just to make sure she's OK (although I know her Dad checks in too).

    I hope you're OK and have recovered from the fall. Take care.

    1. Thank you, I was more shaken than physically hurt, glad your friend has you to check in with her

  3. Suzanne, that experience would make anyone stop and think about their vulnerability and emergency plans. A close call! I love that you pointed out that we're all struggling, one way or another, in this lockdown. So many people think others, in a different financial situation or living situation or age group or whatever, "have it made." Even in the best of times, no one "has it made."

  4. I think my biggest concern about this pandemic is the emotional scars it's going to leave behind, particularly on our kids.

  5. It is totally understandable that you feel lonely and isolated in your situation. I am mourning the loss of our best traveling years too. Nothing to do but keep putting one foot in front of the other and hope for the best. I hope you are alright after your fall. Stay safe!!!

  6. What a frightening experience and I'm not surprised you're feeling vulnerable. The pandemic has definitely touched everyone, all be it in different ways. I find the middle of the night is when I worry the most, especially for my sons who are both in their 20s.

  7. We are all vulnerable in some way. Keep safe

  8. It's quite scary isn't it, this whole thing and it does make you feel vulnerable, and when you are on your own, it's even harder. I wish I had an answer, I know it must be very hard. I hope this week was a better week?