My autism and covid-19

I know that everyone probably cannot stand to hear the word coronavirus or covid-19 anymore and I am right there with you, but unfortunately it is such a part of the world right now that not addressing and for me personally writing about it helps me to assess how it effecting me and allows me to figure out my own mind.

If I am honest I am not worried about coronavirus for myself, the illness itself. Of course I would absolutely hate to pass it on to anybody and I completely understand the worry everyone has but the aspects that are effecting me are not the idea of me contracting the virus personally. Its the unknown. The uncertainty that rises from all of this. If there was a set time scale then I could adjust around that, the problem is everything changes day by day, hour by hour and I cannot be logical or practical when right now quite frankly the world isn’t being either of those things.

Obviously working with children there was been much anxiety from parents, team and questions that I feel unable to answer. Thankfully being at work keeps me grounded. It gives me the routine that I need to carry on and keep myself from over analysing too much. Work is my role, it is my stage and I am there to be able to support my team and parents, that is my job description. Therefore during the day I am fine. I am worried about my team of course, I do not want them worrying or being uncertain but I cannot give them all the answers that I know they need. Everyday I am spending the majority of my time ensuring that they know I am here for them and that I honestly am so proud of all of them for coming in every single day and ensuring the children we look after are well cared for and that they continue as normally as possible.

Being in the education field this past week along has been mind blowing, everyday new information emerging about what we should be doing, how we should be doing it but none of it particularly clear. No set guidelines just suggestions. This has been the hardest aspect. It is so scary to watch the children that we care for slowly dwindle down in numbers as parents make the decision to abide to social distancing in order to help prevent the spread, and now to figure out who qualifies as key workers and see our numbers drop even more. It feels completely unrealistic and more like something that I would watch in a movie. Monday morning is going to present the strangest moment to me, for all of us. I am grateful that we are staying open and I know that this isn’t what everybody has wanted but the stability of still having work is so important to me, and of course health comes first but unfortunately the world cannot completely shut down as these key workers (education included) are still required to help keep everything functioning. I have already had so much disruption in my life and plans fall through that being able to attend work for now, in as safe a manner as possible is a blessing to me.

So during the day I wouldn’t say that the whole ordeal is effecting me too much currently in regards to my autism, getting home in an evening and dealing with everything else that is being effected however is. When I get home at the moment everything seems to hit me, the stress and burden of the day and everything I have had to compete with. I feel the need to retreat, give myself a moment and just be for a while. Immerse myself into a book or fanfiction or watching something just for me, being on my own and trying to block out the over sensory aspect of the world. I feel terrible for Justin as he needs to be able to vent and talk about it all too but right now when I get home I just need an hour or so to myself to be autistic. To be able to cocoon myself, block myself of from the world for a while. He has, as always, been amazing with it but I still feel bad about it. He is working hard to help keep my routine as familiar and regular as possible and I appreciate it so much! I wouldn’t be getting through all of this without him.

Shopping has taken on a whole new level of anxiety and the last time I went I was battling of sitting on the floor in the supermarket and having a melt down. We always go shopping at a very similar time and when it is quieter, as this makes it easier for both of us really. We also do a weekly menu for what we are going to have for dinner and then a shopping list. We buy what is on the list and very rarely deviate from it. Obviously at the moment that isn’t possible. I can not predict what will be on the shelf or work out a dinner plan and I do not like the disruption of it all. Again, Justin has been overly amazing with this even going as far as to ban me from going to the shops with him so that it doesn’t add any additional pressure on myself, last week he also kept the list himself and didn’t tell me he was changing what we were getting, or adapting the menu until we got home so I didn’t know things were any different to normal.

On top of all of this and as a last point to make I am devastated that my sisters can no longer come over for the Easter holidays. I absolutely understand why it is best to not fly and the reasons why but I cannot get the other part of my brain to stop being so upset by it all and think rationally. I hope to see them soon, and am so glad to have the portal in order to facetime them as often as we like.

To everybody, keep safe, do what you can to ensure your mental health is supported throughout this unsure time, be strong and know that we can get through this! (plus if the avengers can sort out the snap and Thanos then we have totally got this!)

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