Have I developed FOGO? (Fear Of Going Out)


While someone ‘close to Government’ was last week embroiled in a row over his questionable ‘road trip’ interpretation of lockdown, I remain firmly at home.  I’m starting to think I’m not quite such a social being as I previously thought. I’m actually rather enjoying enforced social hibernation. Indeed, as someone pointed out to me this week, it’s not so much FOMO now but FOGO. Fear Of Going Out.

It was half term last week.  Not that you’d have noticed in our house.  For the boys there was an ever so subtle shift in the balance between schoolwork – from minimal to none.  And the Xbox  – from a lot to 24/7.  However, reassuringly, late night pasta pesto and an aversion to sunlight still continued as normal. My daughter had a plethora of projects to complete for virtual school, just in case I should make the mistake of thinking that half term was a holiday of sorts.  Ostensibly these were for her further education, in reality they were what I call ‘homework for parents’. Inevitably these projects required the acquisition of obscure cooking ingredients only available from shops not open since mid-March and art materials which even Picasso would have found surplus to requirements.  It also assumed that one has the arts/craft skills possessed by a Blue Peter presenter.

Perhaps the highlight of my week was going to have a COVID-19 antibody test. In the past going for a blood test was just a mild irritation, hardly worth a mention.  Not so in these strange times. Now this counts as a major excursion requiring hours of outfit planning and worry that I won’t remember how to behave in public. I need not have worried. The normal rules of social etiquette do not really apply for a five second jab in the arm from a person shrouded in a face mask and full PPE.

It did, however, give me the opportunity to try out one of the new face masks that I’ve just purchased from my extremely obliging personal shopper, Amazon. A quick look in the car mirror confirmed what I already suspected – I looked like a cross between my dentist (the bottom half of whose face I’ve never actually seen) and someone about to rob a bank. I also discovered that lip gloss and face masks are not especially compatible.

In case you’re wondering my antibody test was negative – no immunity to COVID-19.  The main reason I did the test was because my Year 6 daughter could have returned to school this week. I am in a vulnerable position due to an underlying medical condition.  So my negative test means she won’t be returning to school just yet.  Upside: I won’t need to sanitise her laptop, wash her uniform every evening and manically wipe down all surfaces. Downside: several more weeks of ‘homework for parents’ and feelings of general intellectual inadequacy.



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