The Emotional Fallout of Coronavirus
During lockdown I increased my Craven Herald monthly columns to weekly in a bid to support and provide a little distraction from the crazy, scary Coronavirus roller coaster we found ourselves on, I suspect I’m not alone in wanting to get off this ride.
A friend recently remarked she felt she was becoming “old and boring.” Ordinarily we are pack animals with support and social networks threading through various areas of our lives. Social contact restricting us to households and support bubbles has created an insular way of being. Daily interaction and contact no longer part of our regular existence. For many, this has resulted in groundhog day without the usual escapes, rewards and treats, allowing feelings of apathy and demoralisation to creep in.
We find ourselves in a position of life choices being out of our hands and being dictated by the powers that be. Throughout the pandemic there has been conflicting theories and what appears to have been contrary, nonsensical logic and rationale. This has meant that measured, informed, considered decision making has veered into emotionally driven reactive responses. Underlying feelings of fear and unfairness have provoked feelings of anger and served to divide us in some cases.
Relationships have been placed under immense pressure not only from disproportionate time spent together but also from lockdown providing the time to reflect, leading to rumination. The lack of contact with friends and extended family has served to intensify ordinarily manageable problems.
Working from home and home schooling has redefined what home means to us and has required a trojan effort in managing the balancing act required. The burden of financial strain and an uncertain economic climate have added to an already stressful situation. It is no surprise that cases of domestic abuse have drastically increased over the past few months.
My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones during the pandemic from COVID-19 and other causes. Funerals are ordinarily an opportunity to celebrate life and garner community support. Restrictions on numbers have made “a good turn out” to honour the person who has passed, impossible.
Clients who have experienced a bereavement during Coronavirus initially reported lockdown as being helpful in allowing the space to process their grief and loss, however as time has passed found that isolation has become counter productive in adapting to life without loved ones. “It takes a village to raise a child” the support integral to parenting, particularly for new or lone parents has been sadly absent. My daughter’s July wedding was cancelled and while incredibly disappointing I was relieved that she rearranged for 2021 rather than opt for a significantly restricted celebration.
Momentous life events warrant the presence of the people we love and who will support us through the new chapter. The re-opening of schools, colleges and universities in September, whatever form this may take, hopefully will signify a return to norms, structure and routines. Even the most organised and embedded home routines are liable to be swerved, we are likely to achieve more when having responsibilities and being accountable to those external to our “bubbles.”