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OCD and covid 19

MobileGamesMobileGames Member Posts: 74 Courageous
edited July 2020 in Disabled people
Morning. Does anybody else here worry a lot about covid 19? I worry about cross contamination when my shopping delivery arrives so I put the bags on the floor. I then wash my hands after putting the food shopping away. If I need to put some bags on the kitchen surfaces,I wipe them down afterwards. I wipe the cupboard handles,fridge and freezer handles afterwards. I then wash my hands again,after wiping the door handles. When I put rubbish in the bin or recycling(bin outside of house on front garden),I use my elbow to open the front door,shut it with my bottom. I wash my hands then lock the door. When I go for a short walk I wear a mask and if people are near I worry about it. When I come back I take the mask off by the elastic handles,put it in a plastic bag then put it in the bin. I then wipe my hands with wipes,then open the door with my elbow. I then wash my hands,then lock the door. I play over in my mind if I've been too near a person or not washed my hands properly or wiped enough. I know death rates in the UK are down but it still panics me and it saddens and angers me about all the people who go about in and amongst crowds like everything has gone back to normal. It hasn't. It hasn't just gone away. It's still out there. I shielded relatives for 3 months. I've been for 3 walks since then,each time nervous of where people are. Does anybody else feel like this?
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Replies

  • serenity2serenity2 Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    hi @MobileGames

    im certain you are not alone in how you feel and act.
    i too a similar to you...and to be honest, I prefer to be this way and be safe...
    don’t get me wrong I’d rather not have the anxiety of it all...my anxiety can be torturous, although I’m pleased to say, the ritual I go through due to covd19 has become more of the norm, so the anxiety has subsided a little around it, I guess it’s amazing what we get used to..

    all good wishes to you, you are not alone 

     :)
    Best Wishes
    serenity2 
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,040 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, my OCD has gone into overdrive since Covid reached the UK.  It takes me far longer to go through all the cleaning rituals after getting shopping than the actual shopping does!!  I'd also stopped going for a walk as it was just not worth the hassle afterwards.  I'm bad enough in winter with the threat of flu and Noro but this year it's been summer as well.  

    I am now starting to try exposures again.  Although the virus hasn't gone, there are very low levels about now and you're statistically unlikely to come across anyone with the virus.  Of course, the risk is not zero, but it never is, everything you do every day has a danger somewhere (I should know, my brain likes to find all of them!!  :D ).  So I've been trying to go for a walk outside without showering and washing my clothes for example.  There is a very low risk of catching enough virus outside even if someone does walk close to you.  I must admit, it hasn't been overly successful for me so far.  I'm also really struggling to drive because of all the touch points in the car that I will have touched after coming from the supermarket, so are much more likely to be contaminated than just 'being outside' for a walk.  So I'm not able to do any 'leisure' driving at the moment, but again that's something I really need to work on.  I'm also agoraphobic which has been made worse by not going out regularly...and I can't stand crowds and traffic which have been worsened by the recent lockdown easing.  All we can do is keep trying though...I know that's not particularly helpful.

    OCDUK are organising Zoom group meetings if you'd be interested.  I hate phone calls, and my own face, and have never even tried a face call, but I'm going to give it a go...  The link is on their website, you have to register in advance.
  • serenity2serenity2 Member Posts: 206 Pioneering
    Hi @OverlyAnxious
    thank you for the details in respect of Zoom and OCDUK 😊

    I agree we can only keep trying, but not beat ourselves up about it too much, I’m too good at that 🙄
    you sound like you are trying really hard , good for you ! We are similar in that we are doing our very best to try...it’s understandable that we are anxious around the virus and after isolation...t helps to know we are not alone...
    we will get there, as we seem to have a determination too 
    good on you 😊
     :)
    Best Wishes
    serenity2 
  • MobileGamesMobileGames Member Posts: 74 Courageous
    @serenity2. Thank you for your kind words. 

  • MobileGamesMobileGames Member Posts: 74 Courageous
    @OverlyAnxious. Sorry to hear that your anxiety is high. Thank you for suggesting Zoom. You do what's best for you and hold your head high. 
  • leeCalleeCal Member Posts: 2,709 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2020
    I agree that some people have relaxed about distancing and it concerns me too. All we can do is keep our distance and masks and hope that a vaccine is forthcoming soon, I do hope so.
    stay safe everyone.
  • MobileGamesMobileGames Member Posts: 74 Courageous
    @leeCal Thank you. Yes,when I go for a walk I wear a mask. I feel stupid but then I think "Well it's better than nothing and if the relatives that I live with,one vulnerable and over 70 and the other over 70 got it,I'd never forgive myself." I realise that the mask wearing protects the people around us. Does it protect the wearer to some degree? I am a bit confused about that. 
  • MobileGamesMobileGames Member Posts: 74 Courageous
    @OverlyAnxious Do you have disposable gloves that you can wear? One pair to use to wipe down the trolley, then take off turning  them inside out,then put in a plastic bag,another pair to use round the supermarket,then do the same thing,another pair to pack the shopping, then do the same thing,then put the groceries in the boot of the car,then take gloves off and put into plastic bag,then sanitise your hands using either wipes or hand gel,then put gloves on to drive. Then once home and unpacked the shopping,wash your hands,wipe down surfaces and door handles then wash your hands. When wanting to go for a leisurely drive,my folks ring the petrol station before hand to see if they can fill up the car for them. They go out in masks. They come out in a mask and gloves and fill it up,then pass cash through the window. Could that be an option for you? Could home delivery of shopping or a town trust volunteer help get your shopping for you? These are just suggestions. 
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,040 Disability Gamechanger
    I realise that the mask wearing protects the people around us. Does it protect the wearer to some degree? I am a bit confused about that. 
    Not really.  The virus can still land on your face and ultimately make it's way into your eyes, nose or mouth.  Only hospital grade, full face, surgical masks protect the wearer as well.  

    Masks really aren't necessary outside, BUT if it makes you feel safer and gives you the confidence to go for a walk, then keep doing it. :)   When you are out, just be sure to keep your distance from other people and wash your hands and face when you get home.  That's the best way to avoid getting the virus for everyone.  There really is a very low chance of catching the virus outside in fresh air. 
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,040 Disability Gamechanger
    @OverlyAnxious Do you have disposable gloves that you can wear? One pair to use to wipe down the trolley, then take off turning  them inside out,then put in a plastic bag,another pair to use round the supermarket,then do the same thing,another pair to pack the shopping, then do the same thing,then put the groceries in the boot of the car,then take gloves off and put into plastic bag,then sanitise your hands using either wipes or hand gel,then put gloves on to drive. Then once home and unpacked the shopping,wash your hands,wipe down surfaces and door handles then wash your hands. When wanting to go for a leisurely drive,my folks ring the petrol station before hand to see if they can fill up the car for them. They go out in masks. They come out in a mask and gloves and fill it up,then pass cash through the window. Could that be an option for you? Could home delivery of shopping or a town trust volunteer help get your shopping for you? These are just suggestions. 
    My strategy for dealing with contamination is a bit different to yours.  :)

    I associate everything outside of my flat as being contaminated, so I actually look quite normal when I do the shopping, I don't need to use gloves or give the trolley another wipe as the assistants are already wiping them.  The car is also always contaminated because it's outside so again I don't wear gloves in there.  But I do NOT touch my face, body or clothes when outside at all, I can't eat or drink outside, and I can't use public toilets.

    However, it's when I get home that all hell breaks loose!  I know every single thing I've touched, I kick the doors open to avoid touching the handles, and I have to place the shopping bags right in the centre of the floor so they can't touch anything else.  Then wash my hands thoroughly and start wiping every single item while also racing against time because of my fears of chilled/frozen food spoiling and making me ill.  Once I've put all the food away, I have to clean the bags and put them away.  Then more handwashing.  Then clean all the door handles and light switches (regardless of whether I've touched them).  Then more handwashing.  Then clean my phone, keys, wallet and sunglasses (I've stopped wearing a wristwatch so that's one less thing to clean).  Then empty the bins (due to contaminated wipes in there).  Then more handwashing.  Then hoover the floors.  Then more handwashing.  Then clean the handwash basin.  Then more handwashing (see a theme here lol!?)  Then place the towels in the wash at 60c and get fresh ones out.  Then finally have a shower and put on some new clothes.  

    I'm absolutely knackered after all that!!  :D  Plus the skin on my hands is ruined and my muscles all ache for days afterwards.  

    One good thing is that I don't need to fill up the car with diesel any time soon.  I filled up in March and still have 400 miles left on the range!  At this rate, I won't need to fill up again until next year lol!  When I do fill up, I use an app on my phone to pay, so I don't have to touch cash or go into the kiosk.  I do use a glove there, partly because of Covid, but mainly because diesel stinks if it gets onto your hands and I always seem to get a leaky pump!

    I've thought about online shopping but most of my OCD is around food so I have to be able to choose my own items and know how they've been transported so it's not an option for me at the moment.  Plus, shopping is the one reason for me to drive at least a short distance each week, so I'm really trying to keep that going for as long as I can.

    I'm always interested to know how other people deal with contamination though, especially when we deal with similar problems in very different ways.  :)
     

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