Colette Sheridan: Stockholm Syndrome is a spin off of living with the blasted virus

Colette Sheridan says she feels like she's a touch of Stockholm Syndrome - where Covid has been her captor.
Colette Sheridan: Stockholm Syndrome is a spin off of living with the blasted virus

PULLING IT OFF: Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, whose ‘silver’ look suited her. A far cry from ‘hag-like’ hair that many have been forced to endure while hair salons were closed, says Colette Sheridan.

LIVING with Covid, something that is on the cards for another while, if not for ‘eternity’ as some doom mongers have predicted, isn’t actually all that bad.

I don’t mean having the virus, but rather getting through the weeks, months — and years (as is likely) -—is an exercise in delayed gratification.

Just as you tell a child they can’t have sweets until after dinner, so too do the authorities tell us we can’t go into the pub for another while.

For imbibers of the hard stuff who enjoy the conviviality of a bar counter, they have to be satisfied, for now, with the tantalising prospect of a pint, sitting on a stool in their favourite watering hole.

OK, so salivating at the thought of a drink in a pub isn’t exactly very satisfactory. It’s a very poor substitute for something that used to be taken for granted. 

But admit it. Isn’t there a part of you that feels pleased that you’re not wasting time, money and brain cells in some den of iniquity?

Thanks to Covid, you’ve learned that you don’t HAVE to go to the pub on a regular basis.

If you’re mainlining booze at home, you probably miss the company to be found in pubs. Drinking alone is not a great idea. But learning to be alone is a good lesson for those who used to think they needed the hurly burly of busy pubs and noisy parties.

I can go through a week without seeing anyone and really appreciate going for a walk with a friend or family member. But being on my tod is something I’ve come to consider the norm now, in these strange times.

I suppose I have a touch of Stockholm Syndrome. It’s a psychological response that occurs when hostages or abuse victims bond with their captors or abusers. 

Over time, some victims develop positive feelings towards their captors and they may even resent anyone who may be trying to help them escape from the dangerous situation they’re in.

Our captor is Covid and while we don’t have any fond feelings towards this god-damned virus, it has made life simpler. We’ve cottoned on to the fact that our needs are actually a lot more spartan than our previous lives suggested.

Not being one for clothes shopping online, I haven’t bought a stitch since Christmas. 

I yearn for new runners, to make my daily 45 minute walk more springy. But apart from that, I don’t really need new clobber or footwear.

I’m no Buddhist but I get the idea of detachment and being non-acquisitive.

Filling our lives with stuff from high street shops is not actually going to make us happy. After the momentary thrill of fitting into a new stylish dress and paying for it with plastic, some women won’t even wear the frock, forgetting about it amid their bursting-at-the-seams wardrobe.

We do not need to keep buying clothes. It’s bad for the environment and it can be an expensive habit. Instead, why not keep an eye on charity shops for those rare purchases of something really good, maybe even with a designer label if that excites you.

A bit like playing the lottery in our head with fantasies about what we’d do if we won it, now, the new fantasies are very basic.

I’m looking forward to going to the hairdresser on Saturday as I’m sick of using L’Oreal Magic Retouch on my roots which have grown alarmingly long.

These days, I nearly get through a whole can of the spray in one go such is the amount of grey needing to be covered.

Why not just go grey? I’m not ready. But I salute women who have ditched the home dye-jobs during Covid and are going ‘silver’ (the new euphemism for grey). It can be a good look. Remember Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada? Now that was an elegant silver barnet. My own version of hair without dye would be steely coloured and hag-like. Not a good look. Allow me a bit of vanity.

What I’m not looking forward to as restrictions lift is socialising with more than one person at a time. I couldn’t imagine sitting around a table in a lively pub, trying to be heard by a group of people when all I want is one-to-one interaction.

It’s a Covid hangover, this slightly anti-social approach to being out, but not ‘out out’ if you get my drift.

Forget parties and nightclubs. If I can’t get the bus home, then I’ll be behaving excessively in my book.

Covid, I imagine, will continue to take its toll, even as the vaccinations are rolled out.

There’s always the fear of new virulent variants.

Perhaps I need a dose of Professor Luke O’Neill, whose optimism is always welcome.

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