From red carpet to real life…SUSANNA REID: I've got FONDA!*

From red carpet to real life…SUSANNA REID: Forget FOMO – I’ve got a nasty case of FONDA!* *that’s the Fear Of Not Doing Anything

  • Many people are experiencing Fear Of Not Doing Anything (FONDA) in lockdown 
  • Susanna Reid said there’s an expectation to improve ourselves in our extra time
  • British presenter can’t see herself training for a triathlon, but will tidy her home

Prior to this wretched virus lockdown, in the hazy past of just two weeks ago, lots of people complained about suffering from FOMO —the intense envy of other people’s glittering social lives, aka the Fear Of Missing Out.

Not me though. Sure, I might come across as an extrovert on television, but I am not a particularly gregarious person. After chatting happily to people all morning in my professional life, I prefer to spend quiet nights in, punctuated only by the occasional grunted demand for food from a passing teenager.

Raucous socialising isn’t my thing, so I’ve never suffered from FOMO. And now no one else has to. Lockdown means those fancy holidays and best-fun-ever events are not just off the schedule — they are illegal. Unless you want the police called, no one’s showing them off on Facebook.

Susanna Reid (pictured) claims lockdown has introduced a new social affliction, Fear Of Not Doing Anything (FONDA)

So you might think I’d be relatively happy in lockdown. But there’s a new social syndrome in town, and I’ve learned it’s one I’m very much vulnerable to. I’m calling this new affliction FONDA — Fear Of Not Doing Anything — and it’s something a lot of us are experiencing.

Apparently, we must make the most of our extra time and should emerge as fitter and vastly improved versions of our former selves. We are cocooned in a chrysalis and will re-enter society as butterflies!

In order to achieve this national moment of self-improvement, online lessons have popped up in crafts, violin-playing, languages, ballroom dancing — whatever skill you might once have dreamt of mastering, there’s now an online tutorial to help you become a pro during the lockdown.

Even Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries said this might be the best opportunity the whole country has ever had to get fit. Oh Dr Harries, I wish this were true. When I went into self-isolation almost three weeks ago, I had visions of toning up. The reality is that I am slowly morphing into a marshmallow.

I go for a walk every day, but have only once persuaded my boys to come with me. I’m not sure that one 30-minute session sauntering across the common will hone us into the ‘super-fit family’ Dr Harries had in mind.

My FONDA was exacerbated by news that 36-year-old James Page completed a marathon by doing 873 laps of his back garden.

I daren’t even peek at Facebook. Social media is overrun with talented teenagers playing Coldplay songs on violins, or young choristers entertaining their neighbours.

Susanna says there’s an expectation for the nation to improve themselves with their extra time. Pictured: James Page, 36, who did 873 laps of his back garden

I’m not only failing to do enough myself, I’m failing to do enough parenting, too.

I did bop along with the nation’s PE teacher, Joe Wicks, once. My thighs ached all the next day, and I couldn’t stop wondering about his stylish grey living room. How does he keep it so tidy? I never saw how filthy my white living room walls were until now.

When I chose 50 shades of grey for my home decor, I didn’t realise some parts of my house would end up going that way on their own through neglect. But am I going to repaint them? Am I heck! For one thing, I don’t want to be publicly shamed coming out of a DIY store for non-essential goods.

We’re in it together

I had a food delivery due this week, but I’ve cancelled it to free up a slot for people who can’t get out. I urge you to do the same — and I think supermarkets should start kicking healthy people like me off their delivery rosters in favour of those who really need it, such as over-70s and NHS workers. 

Meanwhile, Instagram’s queen of clean Mrs Hinch is encouraging us to deep clean our homes. My heart sinks as I look around the kitchen — piles of washing everywhere, cat food spilled on the floor and the dishwasher not unloaded since this morning. FONDA strikes again.

One excuse for my NDA (ahem, Not Doing Anything) is that I am back to work after our quarantine when one of my sons developed a cough. As a key worker, I feel lucky to have the familiar routine of work — getting up early and putting on smart clothes, whether that’s to broadcast from the sofa or, this week, in an almost deserted studio.

I’ve been driving myself in, doing my own make-up and keeping a distance from my co-presenters.

Hearing from health workers on the front line, and trying to make their voices heard more widely, is by far the most important part of what I do, as well as pushing the authorities on the vital issues of testing and protective equipment.

Still, I must tackle my FONDA. The only cure is to do something. I can’t see myself training for a triathlon, but I’m going to start with tidying up the kitchen. After I’ve had a cup of tea and a biscuit. I have no fear of that. 

Let’s hear it for the paper boys!

There are so many roles in society we’ve always taken for granted and now realise we couldn’t live without. Delivery drivers, shelf stackers, cleaners, refuse collectors. May I add a job to the list? The paper boy — and girl.

Many people don’t want to read the news on a phone. I’m the same, and so is my dad, for whom I’m trying to organise a daily newspaper delivery. The familiarity of a newspaper is reassuring and I devour every one, every day.

My 50th birthday plan: Brad Pitt in Ibiza and my first ever tattoo

Tess Daly (pictured) who has recently turned 51, revealed her ageless appearance is down to pure denial of ageing 

Gorgeous Tess Daly who, unbelievably, has just turned 51, says her looks are down to pure denial of ageing. I love her Jedi mind trick, and I’m going to put it to work for me.

My 50th birthday party in December is likely to be all in my mind, too.

My imaginary plan? It’ll take place in my favourite holiday spot, Ibiza, which has conveniently announced it’s planning to extend its summer season into the winter. I’ll wear a sizzling designer outfit and be perfectly tanned. Brad Pitt, Scarlett Johansson and The Rock will attend, Rihanna and Eminem will perform and you are all invited.

I am also tempted to get a midlife rebellion tattoo like J.K. Rowling, who this week revealed she has one on her wrist. I’ll add an eagle wings inking spread across my shoulder blades to my imaginary 50th wishlist.

Why runners should jog off

Why is everyone a runner all of a sudden? My daily walks are spent swerving path-pounders whose heavy breathing makes me corona-nervous.

I’m scrupulous about keeping a two-metre distance between myself and others, hopping on to the verge when necessary. But some runners come roaring past, panting, about 6 in from my ear. Haven’t they been watching the news?

Or do they think that they’re so healthy, they don’t pose a risk?

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