Trapped inside these four walls,

Sent inside forever,

Never seeing no one

Nice again,

Like You,

Mama, you,

Mama, you.

If I ever get out of here

Thought of giving it all away

To a registered charity

All I need is a pint a day

If I ever get out of here

If we ever get out of here

Band on the Run by Paul McCartney and Wings

The extended quote from Band on the Run by Wings is indulgent, but expresses better than I can how I feel with the latest COVID restrictions just announced as coming in this week, as England (and I mean England, not the whole UK) goes back into full lockdown, albeit with schools, colleges and universities staying open this time.

***

Despite what I wrote yesterday, I didn’t come to any great insights or peace of mind over Shabbat about my autism diagnosis. I’m still too scared that I don’t have a 100% definite diagnosis yet (if you can ever have a 100% diagnosis of something as subjective as high-functioning autism), even if the psychiatrist did describe the rest of the process as “just dotting ‘i’s and crossing ‘t’s.” I think it’s probably something that will sink in more over time. My parents are hopeful that I will find more help in the workplace now. That may be true, but I need to find a job first, something that will be harder with the return to lockdown.

***

Shabbat (the Sabbath) was a normal semi-lockdown Shabbat. I went to shul (synagogue), ate with Mum and Dad, read, did Torah study etc. I was not intending to do so much Torah study after the assessment, but I got into it and did an hour or so on Friday and Saturday. I guess it shows that I do really enjoy Torah study when I feel able, particularly when I’m studying topics I’m interested in, which over Shabbat was Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), specifically Iyov (Job), which I’m now halfway through, as well as teachings from Rebbe Nachman of Bratlav and letters of Rav Kook.

Other than that, nothing really happened until after Shabbat. I had a list of chores to do, most notably getting ready the stuff that the psychiatrist wanted to see before my final assessment. This was interrupted by the news of the new lockdown. PIMOJ and I were supposed to be going on our third in-person date on Thursday, which is now out of the question. We’re hoping to have a hurried date tomorrow, although I’ll have to reorganise the call I had scheduled with my rabbi mentor. Technically I can still go to volunteer on Wednesdays (I think… the announcement is not completely clear to me), but I don’t drive and I’m not sure that I want to risk travelling on the buses with infections and the “R-number” rising. I was also due for a checkup at the dentist next week which has been delayed since the summer for various reasons. I don’t have a toothache, but I have always been good about dental checkups, so it feels worrying postponing it indefinitely. I guess I’ve been vaguely worried about my teeth since I had my first filling (at the age of thirty-six!) last year. My parents were also supposed to be going to the dentist soon, in Mum’s case for quite important reasons about seeing whether she can take a particular cancer drug she’s been prescribed. Then there is shul. I was just getting back into the habit of going regularly and now we’re not sure if places of worship will close down again.

Things feel grim. At least in the first lockdown the weather was good and the days were getting longer. This feels like a cold, dark, bleak time. The government are hoping to ease the lockdown by Christmas, but I worry it won’t happen. That may just be pessimism and negativity talking, though. I don’t celebrate Christmas, but I feel sad for those who do, especially the children. (Of course, we’ve gone through five Jewish festivals already this year with limited or no shul access or ability to meet friends and family.)

13 thoughts on “If We Ever Get Out of Here

  1. I like the quote. Glad you indulged! First filling at the age of thirty-six! You must have very good teeth. This whole COVID thing is really one long dark tunnel. I hope you get more supports with employment too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I find much wisdom in quotes and they are often done in ways I wouldn’t express myself, so they are helpful on a different level. It’s a mess here in the U.S. EVERYWHERE, but especially in certain states who have politicized the virus and mask wearing. My state is doing pretty well, although our numbers are rising too. Ugh. As you said, it’s going to be a bleak winter.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I don’t really know of anywhere that’s doing well. Israel introduced a lockdown really quickly in the spring (long before the UK) and had good compliance and a very low death rate in the first wave, but then all that evaporated and they’re really struggling now in the second wave, I don’t know why.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry about the new set of lockdown restrictions in your area and I hope they won’t be necessary for long. I don’t think we’re going to see normal life in time for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s in the US either (although every state is doing things differently). I also remember the grieving process I had when Pesach wasn’t going to be the same. I guess having gone through it for Pesach and Rosh Hashanah already, I’m not so devastated over Thanksgiving, but I feel for my non-Jewish friends and co-workers going through the holiday grieving process now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Pesach was hard, although I think Pesach and the first lockdown is kind of mixed up in my head with Mum’s cancer, which was in its early stage of treatment, so this feels a bit different. But it will be hard for non-Jewish friends, yes.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. you know, self-centered Jewish Israeli that I am, I actually hadn’t considered that non-Jews would be grieving over Thanksgiving in the same way that I grieved over all of the Jewish holidays since March. You’re so, so right.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. We’re sort of coming out of our 2nd lockdown in Israel… not fully though… cafes and restaurants are still closed.

    This feels like a cold, dark, bleak time.

    In my four decades, I have never felt the world to be a bleaker place than it is now. I’m with you, brother. I really, really miss my early morning minyan on Saturdays – it’s intimate, I love the people there, and there’s always a lovely, friendly kiddush afterwards with herring and whiskey… but that basically hasn’t happened since March, and services are only held outside now, which is not comfortable – I’m not even sure what they’ll do when it starts raining in Jerusalem this Winter. The whole situation f’ing sucks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Too true. I also feel the “we’re all in it together” feeling that there was (at least in the UK) in the first lockdown has dissipated and we’re heading towards a more “everyone for themselves” attitude.

      Liked by 1 person

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