‘What we’re doing to stay calm’

Readers shared their plans for the next few months...


■ We’ve been so conditione­d to avoid everyone that it’s going to take quite a bit of time before I feel I can go back to how things were before. I will certainly take it easy and pace myself, avoid crowded situations that make me feel uncomforta­ble, continue to wear a mask if I have to be somewhere more crowded, but also try not to be overly fearful and keep it in perspectiv­e. Alison Reddihough (53), Sussex

■ I have chosen to book with a hairdresse­r who is only seeing two customers per day, and I’ll choose to shop at quieter times of day and continue to observe hand hygiene and distancing. Rhian Kivits (46), Cornwall

■ Regular habits such as writing three pages about anything at all each morning, gives me the chance to check in with myself. I’ll also be walking 10,000 steps each day, as walking is healing for me. Helen Garlick (62), West Sussex

■ I think I’ll be wearing my mask forever (besides, you don’t need make-up and it hides the bags under my eyes!). I have found it an unexpected pleasure to walk along roads I have not ventured down, as well as speaking to someone I didn’t know, and not on video call.” Lynn Peters (68), Purley

■ As someone who has previously lost a daughter to a respirator­y disease, Covid has brought with it heightened anxiety for me. It sounds extreme but before I commit to an indoors event I am now assessing the venue in terms of ceiling height, ability to distance from others, air-conditioni­ng etc. I was invited to a charity event but the venue is long and narrow, with low ceilings and no outside space.

I feel bad as I didn’t get a ticket but I will donate cash instead.” Sarah Stephens (43), Manchester, an advocate for life after child loss

■ My husband and I have been keeping to ourselves since last March. We’re hoping to catch up with relatives and take up sequence dancing again, but we are feeling anxious about it. I’m looking at the risks involved and minimising them as far as possible. I also tell myself that it’s unrealisti­c to stay as we are, and we have to take a step forward towards our ‘new normal’. Lon Evans (72), Cornwall

“I notice that I’m feeling anxious some days for no reason — just acknowledg­ing it is a start.”

Sarah Ions, 58, Leeds

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