Tesco Delivery is great because it doesn’t involve any queueing and the delivery men are personable, friendly, helpful. This week I had to endure queueing to great extent. A visit to the post office (traumatic), and a visit to the bank. At Barclays, I stood with my daughter patientley, meditating. I didn’t have my stick seat with me unfortunately, I forgot. I asked my daughter to wait in the queue so I could go sit in the very empty waiting area of the bank. There is now only one cashier working, anti social distancing and all that, keeping the staff safe, and all of us safe, and all that.
The people in the queue understood exactly what I was doing, we’d been chatting, the man in front of me was an estate agent and had been there 40 minutes already, he wouldn’t get his lunch, the man behind me was a car mechanic who’s branch in Norwood has recently closed. I was wearing my ‘invisible disablity’ lanyard. When I walked into the bank the Barclays masked security woman looked (difficulty to see how she looked in a mask but fear is easy, you can feel it too) fearful. She put her arms out in front of her and shouted “two meters”. I looked about and became stressed as I didn’t think I was standing near her and there wasn’t any markings and I didn’t have a tape measure. I tried to explain what I needed, “the bank closes at 2,” she said. “I know” I said. She couldn’t hear me and the stress (as stress does) went straight into my legs and I couldn’t stand up any longer. She wouldn’t let me sit on a waiting room chair so I sat on the floor, using my yogic skills so I looked like a gliding goddess sitting down to meditate as opposed to the embaressing collapse, of my time before yoga. I continued talking wth her, taking deep breathes, trying to explain my dilemma. She then got a wooden stool from somewhere and placed it outside on the kerb, by my daughter in the queue, but ON the kerb, “I don’t feel safe there,” I said. “It’s too near the road.” She was angry, and at that point I honestly felt that she would have liked me to have been run over by a bus. I put the stool back by the safe walls of the bank and continued to wait.
This is what is keeping us safe. While we’re all keeping each other safe, our banks, post offices, community spaces, gp surgery’s, mental health services (and don’t get me started on that one) are all closing or reducing services. Try to get your ears syringed? I think this service has gone now on the NHS because they don’t want us to hear. Try to get a dental appointment? I think this service has gone now because they don’t want us to talk, you can’t talk if your teeth have dropped out? Try to get a contraceptive cap taken out? (I’m meno but I know someone who’s been quoted £400 privately) they don’t want us to have babies?! My husband has just come back from Rippon where there is no bank, its a small city, the bank van which usually parks outside the city once a week or so has not been seen since lockdown. When I rang Barclays, in the first instance, they told me that the issue I had, had to be dealt by a real life cashier. We cannot exist online only. It’s not possible. Oh for human contact without fear and anxiety.
I didn’t want to rant on this post but I am struggling with this fast changing world, I knew it was coming, I’ve known for years, but CV19 has made this all happen before we’ve had a chance to even think, process, demonstrate, be equipped for, process mentally. I feel like a prisoner sometimes, but not because I can’t go out, because when I go out, I feel like I’m a nuisance because of my questioning or requests for services or help.
But, onwards and upwards, while I breathe I am still very much alive, even though I’ve got gastroenteritis so I can’t enjoy food or beer right now, oh, poooooor meeeeee … apparantly there’s a lot of it about ….