Author Topic: Kindnesses that mitigate the scariness  (Read 121 times)

Sunny Clouds

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Kindnesses that mitigate the scariness
« on: 16 Nov 2021 08:01PM »
I went through quite a phase of finding buses scary when my ataxia was bad, then it went into remission, but in the last couple of months or so, I've had a couple of falls on buses.  I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think this is a resurgence of my ataxia, I think it's actually inner-ear, which would fit in with being very catarrhal.

Also, some local bus routes are unreliable time-wise and are much worse now with the combination of gimmicky 'low traffic neighbourhood' schemes driving all the traffic onto fewer roads, and a shortage of bus drivers.

So catching a bus is a wild guess as to timings.  The community centre I go to won't let people in more than about five minutes before we're due to start.  It's cold.  I have to allow for missed buses, so alternate between being at least half an hour early and a bit late.

Meanwhile, once on the bus, I'm surrounded by maskless people.  It's two buses each way, so including bus stops, and squeezing past others to get on and off the bus, that's a lot of close contact.

I copped out going there and got a taxi.  The oldies' group costs a fiver and the taxi was £12.

But I braved the bus back.

I got to the stop and there was loud music but to my surprise, I didn't mind.  I don't pretend to know what the music was, but it was coming out of the smartphone of a lad of what I'll call Caribbean facial appearance.  Some sort of rap or something?  (Is my ignorance showing?)  Then some yobbo came up to me, waving his arms and kicking.

Something went horribly wrong.  Instead of tut-tutting as befits my grey hair, I danced with him.  I've no idea what sort of dancing it was but I hope my, erm, shimmy or something didn't look too suggestive!

I got my own back on him though.  When he tried to shake my hand, I elbowed him.  Or rather, I offered my elbow instead of my hand and we elbow-bumped. 

So then when I got on the bus, I felt a bit cheered up so wasn't quite so fraught over how crowded it was.  I had to squeeze past lots of teenagers to get off, though.

On the second bus back, it wasn't crowded, so I could count the people.  At one point, there were 16 adults and two primary school children and 7 teenagers.  None of the youngsters had masks on, and only four of us adults did. 

I find that quite scary, not just in terms of the risk of catching covid-19, but in terms of general attitudes.  Obviously, some were probably exempt, and some believe the virus is fake, and some don't understand that a mask does more to protect others than to protect the wearer.  But I believe that typically at least one has an attitude I'll characterise as "Only the crips, oldies and sick die, and they don't matter."

What sort of society do I live in where so many people don't care about keeping others safe? 

So I cling onto the knowledge that out there are still so many others that do care.  They're probably in the majority even though when I'm gloomy it may not seem like it.  Like that gyrating dancer who, when I didn't take his hand, smiled as he elbow-bumped me.

So I find the buses very, very scary, but every day and on every trip there are kindnesses that help me to cope with the scary things.
« Last Edit: 16 Nov 2021 11:06PM by Sunny Clouds »
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

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Kindnesses that mitigate the scariness
« Reply #1 on: 16 Nov 2021 09:41PM »
Something else I'm thinking of.  It's all those youngsters zigzagging all over the place  on the pavement.  What's happened to them these days?  Yes, I'm complaining about youngsters again.  What's with all this kind dashing into gardens or politely waiting between parked cars, smiling at me as I go past?

And what are those young tearaways doing in their souped up cars?  They're supposed to terrorise us with their road-races, not stop to let people like me cross the road, smiling as they gesture me across.

And as for those kiddiwinks on scooters that don't understand you're supposed to be a pain in the neck, and politely stopping instead.  Harumph.

Yes, I do pretend to be growly as my silly way of telling people about it, but in the midst of my tears and fear and doom and gloom, there's loveliness and kindness.  I cling onto it.  Sometimes tears well up over all that kindness.
« Last Edit: 17 Nov 2021 01:54AM by Sunny Clouds »
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Kindnesses that mitigate the scariness
« Reply #2 on: 17 Nov 2021 10:52AM »
In lives like ours a little bit of kindness can mean so much I mean that and a bit of a dance  :62_62:  it is like going on holiday to an island far far away from past judgements and cruelty to be free and as ourselves. You are probably the fourth person I know that has mentioned fuzzy ears, vertigo, dizziness or similar and it has left me wondering if it is something in the air. Maybe our bodies got used to the reduction in air pollution and now the weather is damp and cold, the traffic busy and our bodies less used to be out and about, our ears are like whooohooo wait up give me a minute.


About kindness someone rang me the other day and asked if I could go to the office in town and sign some paperwork, when I mentioned having vertigo she was plain out lovely and hoped I would get better soon. She popped the paperwork in the post in case I was incapacitated for longer.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Kindnesses that mitigate the scariness
« Reply #3 on: 17 Nov 2021 12:09PM »
I think in my case it's mainly to do with problem with a relatively rare tree mould.  To begin with, I thought it was an allergy, but then I realised it's not an allergy, because the mould can actually grow on or in you.  By way of analogy, I think of 'sick building syndrome' best known for being caused by stachybotris mould.  I'm not the only one who's lived here to have had this problem.

But I do think you're right about the things you mention.  Where I live, the LTN has definitely caused increased pollution along the new 'rat runs' and along main roads. 

Added to that, if a trip by car to your nearest high street becomes a saga, it increases your incentive to keep going with the pandemic-induced online shopping and even expand on it.  And of course, replacing one trip a week with several home deliveries wouldn't increase traffic, would it?

But even in areas without such schemes, it seems to me that there are more home deliveries, hence more traffic.  Further, whereas my discomfort about bus safety has led to not returning to some activities, and to getting a few taxis, for others it is leading to more frequent car usage for journeys previously made by bus.

It was seen as a big thing where I lived when we went largely coal-free.  You could see the difference even just as buildings started to fade a bit over time.

Having said that, global warming notwithstanding, I've seen reports of an increase in the use of woodburners and I think that the rising cost of fuel like gas and electricity will encourage that.  Not everyone can afford clean, dried wood.  Wood with mould, paint, varnish, bits of plastic in it etc. gets burnt. 

Oh well, all the more reason to cling onto kindnesses like my dancer and your paperwork-mailer.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)