This week, we share some reflections by Brandon, a swimmer who talked to us back in October 2020 about people with autism. This time, he describes his feelings about the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on his life, bringing a different perspective on the situation. A personal and enlightening view that he wants to share with the world.
On 20 March 2020, the conveyor belt of life stopped. For neurotypical people, “normal” life as they knew it ceased for a while, which has actually been lasting more than we all ever expected. For me, as an autistic person, life was never “normal” anyway: rather, it was always “strange”. That’s why for me, the restrictions associated with Covid-19 have actually reversed the situation.
With the lockdown, the circumstances that would generally cause me stress like the overload on the senses and the difficult encounters with people ceased overnight. As a result, contrary to most people, my life has actually become more manageable thanks to the restrictions. Life has been simpler even despite being deprived of many of the things which give me enormous pleasure, like swimming. Indeed, overall the anxiety which is the inevitable accompaniment of “normal” life was simply alleviated.
However, the neurotypical world does not let off autistic people from the demands of human civilisation for long, and with the resumption of “normal life” in the summer 2020 and the future prospect of life after (or maybe we should say “with”) Covid-19 this year, I know that the negative feelings also return.
As such, I will have to rely again on the few places and activities in which I can be completely myself in this world. Swimming is one of these havens of peace, where I can feel both accepted and at one with myself. I am grateful to everyone involved and I look forward to making our club sessions possible again.