Sgwarnog: In the Field

By sgwarnog


Today was the first day of a new regime. Yet I'm still confused and conflicted.

After completing seven days of self-isolation, it felt bizarre to be out in the world yesterday, let alone traveling into the city to work, let alone my workplace being full of activity.

Following last night's government statement to stay at home, my work brought forward it's planned closure for the duration. So today we all started working from home. We have some new applications and many people have been given new kit to make home working more feasible. Last week when I was working from home in self-isolation I felt detached, but today we were all in the same boat, and there was more of an effort at online community building.

The advice that we'd been given said it's okay to take some exercise, to go for a walk. I'm lucky that I can be out in open countryside, on foot, in a couple of minutes. I hadn't been out for a walk on my patch since before my self-isolation. I haven't got a garden to relax in. I need green space for  my mental health. I need to work hard to maintain my mental health. So I went for a walk.

It was a nice walk, and I saw my first butterflies of the year, which made me happy. I was able to keep at a distance from other people that I came across. There weren't that many. I went to quiet spots. But to get out into the open countryside I had to go through gates. Each gate was a contact point. I was careful, but there was risk. There was more risk than had I stayed at home.

My social media timeline is more or less evenly split between people that went out for a walk and people saying stay home at all costs, self-isolate, don't go out unless you really, really have to. I know that a big part of me going out was a compulsion to go out. It's part of who I am and what I do. It keeps me more sane. I walked responsibly. Yet last week I managed not to step outside the front door for seven days in a row. I obeyed the self-isolation rule because it was clear - I'd had a temperature, I had to stay home. Now the rules say I can go for a walk, so I went for a walk. yet people who I respect are saying (not to me personally, but to the world) don't do that, it's irresponsible.

I suppose there's a middle ground, but I don't work well in a vague middle ground. I like patterns, rules and protocols and live according to them. That's part of being autistic. Often I make my own, I self-regulate. But that doesn't seem to be enough for me here. I am conflicted.

And I could have ended there, but this journal being what it is, and my compulsions being what they are, I can't let go of this being the place where I record my butterfly sightings, so #BJ2020 starts here, with four species on the first day. But I also need to acknowledge that as of this afternoon, Butterfly Conservation have recommended that butterfly recording in the wider countryside should stop. By then I'd already gone on iRecord and logged my records for the day. Conflicted.

And my photo of the day is an Orange Underwing moth as I've never seen one before. Some first butterflies are in extras.

Butterfly Journal 2020

1. 24/03/20 Peacock, Hall Cliffe Community Garden, Baildon
2. 24/03/20 Small Tortoiseshell, Hall Cliffe Community Garden, Baildon
3. 24/03/20 Brimstone, Spring Wood, Baildon
4. 24/03/20 Comma, Spring Wood, Baildon

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