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Been in lockdown too long… hardly seen anyone in that time? Maybe you’ve got FOGO (fear of going out), an increasing social and mental anxiety, based as much on fear of raising the R rate above 1 as on just not really knowing how to be around other people, trusting them, any more.

As regards the UK, maybe the ‘Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives’ lockdown message mantra was “too successful” and left people scared to go out? For some time, class British WhatsApp groups have been at loggerheads whether or not children should go back to school as early as June– some parents still determined to keep them at home. Like those still fortunate to have jobs, they’re worried that reopening too fast and too soon might lead to a second wave of infection.

These are the ones puzzled by those demanding an end to precautions when they fear that the virus is still there, there’s no available treatment, cure or vaccine as yet to make anyone safe. The virus is still poorly understood, they feel, and nobody knows for sure how it will develop, whether antibodies might protect if someone’s had it and, if so, for how long. They’re concerned nothing’s actually changed, apart from people’s intolerance of lockdown restrictions, and wherever precautions are dropped, the situation will return to the status quo with more infections. Behind the continuing uncertainty there is lurking, they suspect, a very real problem that will manifest itself during the coming weeks.

The whole world may find itself dividing into the isolators and the ‘they couldn’t care less’ folk with a great deal of tension between the two groups. Add to the mix governments and media who either intentionally or unintentionally issue contradictory guidance and commentary and you have a volatile brew. Is it FOGO or is it really HONGO (happiness of not going out)? Or maybe it should just be FOG- fear of government (making rules and flouting them. Yes, Dominic, I’m looking at you!).

Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘No Safe Place’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ ( available online as an ebook (€0.99;£0.99), i-book, paperback &audiobook.
All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity

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Written by

Nora Johnson

Nora is the author of popular psychological suspense and crime thrillers and a freelance journalist.


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