With the end of February next week we are actually basically in quite a strict lockdown in Scotland for 4 months. The last time I was outside of Fife, except the 2 weeks in Germany over Christmas, was beginning of November at Lochearnhead. I am really glad I was able to see my family back then. Because now – with the new quarantine hotel rules, I could not afford seeing them at the moment. And not knowing when this will be possible again and when it might end really drags me down. I had planned to go to Germany mid April, because my sister is due with her first baby, my first nephew, beginning of April. I really want to see her and him. The thought of missing out on him being so tiny, really pains me.
I am also very concerned how nasty and aggressive people are getting. There was this Pakistan family from Edinburgh that flew to Pakistan for the funeral of the mother of the dad before Christmas and now they cannot afford to return with the new rule of having to isolate in a quarantine hotel for 10 days for over 1700 pounds per person. In their case over 4000 pounds now. The article from the Edinburgh Evening News was published on their Facebook page and the comments of people underneath were vile. No empathy or sympathy whatsoever. A family member died and these people are being absolutely horrible. I have to admit, it is now also the first time, me as someone who moved here, feels a little unwelcome. You are being treated as if it was your own fault when you end up in a situation like this, because you decided to live in another country. I find this kind of attitude pretty pathetic. Someone telling you “well it was your own decision to leave your family and move abroad” must have a very narrow mind and apparently not many dreams and goals in life. It really saddened me to read all these comments. I know not everyone in Scotland thinks like this, but it was already obvious last year that people look at you suspiciously when you speak English with an accent. I am supporting a lot of the COVID rules in place but with some they can only come from people that have no idea of the impact they are creating. And I know there are a lot of other people, also friends of mine here in Scotland in the same situation, or even worse.
The current situation is really creating massive anxiety for me on top of everything else. Because the thought that I cannot easily get to Germany and back in case of an emergency, nor that my parents could come to Scotland if something would happen to me, is just frightening. And this is something which really starts to annoy me with the COVID rules now. They are very black and white. Many people are not travelling for fun and holidays but for very personal reasons. At the moment you could basically only get away with isolating in these hotels when you have to attend a funeral abroad – wow! So you basically have to wait until your loved one is dead to see them one more time.
Again, I am not saying I am against COVID rules to prevent further spread, and generally everyone should be very cautious about who they meet and also how often they see members of the family even if they do not live in another country. They should have reduced international flights already last year but didn’t. And now we are in an even bigger mess. To make it completely impossible to travel for personal reasons is quite harsh though. I have not seen any friends for months – I only sometimes stumble across one on my walks around town. The only people I meet are my neighbours or when I go to the supermarket.
So this is now one of the downsides, when you decide to move abroad. Obviously no one could have imagined to be ever in a situation we have now. However, with this being a possibility now, if you are thinking about emigrating – do not do it light-heartedly. Especially when moving alone. I am still not regretting my decision but it is now the first time in the two years living here, that I actually feel homesick for my family and being scared. Scared because of all the uncertainty of when I can see them again. You just do not think of the impossible situation of not just hopping on a flight when you want over such a long period of time. Or that it would costs you a fortune to an extend that you cannot financially afford returning back from a visit.
From my point of view, anyone who had planned a holiday in Scotland or the UK this year, should definitely wait at least until summer before making any bookings. The situation is just way to unpredictable at the moment.
For the past weeks I mainly stuck around Dunfermline. Also because it snowed so much at the start of the months, that my car was snowed in and the streets were not cleared enough to drive safely in my opinion. Saw enough cars stuck all over the place when I went out walking. Since last Monday it now got warmer and all the snow is gone. So this weekend I might actually venture out a bit further. However, I also have to admit I lost a bit of motivation now to go anywhere around Fife. I miss my roadtrips to the Highlands and I would love to see Edinburgh again. The main reason I moved to Scotland was the opportunity to travel around the country without taking my holidays for it and pay for flights and a rental car. This has been taken away from me. I am stuck ALONE at home, alone with all my fears and worries. If I would not have my job that distracts me during the week, I think I would have had a serious issue mentally. It is hard enough with a routine but at the same time hard enough to “pretend” every day all day that you are fine. You rock up to work, do your job as if nothing was going on. And this is tiring. Most nights I just do not want to do anything anymore. Literally nothing. I do not want to speak or talk to people, I do not want to go anywhere or do anything where I actually have to use my brain.
At the same time I am craving direct, physical human interaction. Babies and children can actually die if they do not get physical love – like hugs, kisses, stroking. How is it ok that we are now forced to live “normally” without it? All these politicians making decision do not seem to have any idea what it feels like to be completely alone. Without a family or partner around. And again, this is something I find very difficult with regards to the rules. Yes, we should not meet random people all over the place but how are you supposed to stay (mentally) healthy without getting some very basic needs fulfilled?
I just hope with the vaccine it will actually get better. I am tired of all the horror news every day. You constantly get bombarded with news that only scare you even more, with the whole situation already being difficult enough.
I have days where I just start crying out of nowhere and have to pull myself together to keep on working. I wake up in the middle of the night, laying awake for hours being scared of the whole situation. I currently have no control over my eating. I cannot motivate myself to exercise or go for walks every day.
I just wish there was some actual silver lining and not constantly new horror news and new lockdown rules. My little happy things and moments are really simple things at the moment:
- the amazing snow we had
- some awesome sunsets and also a stunning sunrise last Saturday
- walking around Dunfermline – it is not the worst place to be stuck
- being able to walk along the Firth of Forth
- living in a country many wish to be able to move to
- meetings some interesting people from all over the world in my job