We are currently living in challenging times, in which there is a lot of change and restrictions. Currently for most people this means only being allowed out of the house once per day for exercise. I receive messages from my friends. There is a trend in what they say. They say something like, “I am well, I’m just trying to adjust to this new way of living.”
That sentence is very interesting. In my immediate world, not much has changed. My normal life is a life of semi-quarantine anyway! I am sure that many other autistic people also live similar, isolated lives.
The greatest change for me has been observing changes in the outside world. Now, when I walk through my high street, it is deserted. All the shops and cafes I would usually go to are abandoned. All the car parking spaces at the sides of the roads, which would normally contain parked cars, are empty. It looks like a ghost town. I remember the last cup of tea I had from the cafe before it closed.
I live in London. I have seen all the photos of central London in its abandonment. I know what central London is normally like. Now it is eerie.
Another change for me is noticing the change in other people’s behaviour. People who live ‘normal’ lives are no longer going out. People who usually see their family a lot, but are in circumstances where their family don’t live with them, are in contact only by phone and internet. Or sometimes through a safe distance of the window as one person stands in the front garden and the other waves from inside the house! It is bizarre.
If I do see anyone outside or in the supermarket, I see a lot of people wearing masks. This is now normal. People are looking different.
When I go to the supermarket, many of the shelves are empty. I am no longer able to purchase my normal food. Like many autistic people, I tend to eat the same things, the same brands, and I have always tended to buy my food in bulk because I know I will eat it over a long period of time. I’m no longer able to buy large quantities of the food I like. Even on the rare occasions in the supermarket where there are multiple quantities of an item of food I like, I only buy one or two. My diet is going to have to change for the time-being.