HAVING been cooped up in our homes for two months now, who could blame us for feeling a little on edge? For most, the anxiety comes and goes. What feels perfectly fine one day feels impossibly claustrophobic the next.

Repeat until fade.

And so the cycle - staying in, washing our hands red raw and feeling mild panic every time a stranger wanders too close - goes on.

Yet some of us have tried to replace the loss of control in our own lives by trying to police the benign actions of others.

We can’t stop the Prime Minister trying to embrace herd immunity as a public health strategy or do anything about the nationwide shortages of PPE. We can’t even stop others gathering in groups. But we can take a photo of a stranger loading up their shopping trolley with toilet paper and blame the whole crisis on them.

At the very beginning of lockdown, a friend of mine, walking by themselves around their own estate, was accosted by a neighbour. “You’re only supposed to be out walking if you’ve got a dog,” they (incorrectly) heckled from their window.

People want everything in black and white, even when the world is in flux. If you join in with Thursday night’s Clap For Carers, you are being performative; if you don’t, you are being heartless.

I live in a housing scheme in north Glasgow. You’d be hard pushed to find a Tory voter here. What you will find, however, are scores of under-paid care workers. The noise here is always deafening. Some folk like it, others don’t. Neither are wrong

If you stop for a takeaway coffee on your daily walk, you are forcing cafe workers to put themselves at risk so you can have a latte. Ditto the delivery driver with your takeaway. At the same time, we are told, without our cash, independent eateries will close before lockdown ends.

What is the lesser of those two evils?

My fears about coronavirus are multi-faceted. They overlap and contradict each other.

I worry about lifting lockdown too soon and I worry about the consequences of staying in lockdown for much longer. I understand the need for police to enforce lockdown rules, while being concerned about the opportunity to exploit those increased powers they have been handed. I worry about the threat to human life if we try to force business as usual, but I also fear for the mental health consequences if we do not claw back some kind of normality soon.

These thoughts do not exist in harmony. They tussle with each other for space in my head, reminding me that there is no easy road back to life as we knew it before.

But they also force me to consider that most of us are doing OOK. If we’re getting the big stuff right – staying in, social distancing and not throwing illegal house parties at the weekend – then how does it help to squabble about the rest?