We are well into the eighth month of Covid, or at least when it all hit the fan and we began quarantining, locking-down, mask-wearing and the term I hate the most, "social distancing." When it first began, we thought we could "flatten the curve" by nobly staying in our homes, disinfecting the crud out of everything and hunkering down for 14 days. But 14 days became a month which became a half a year and beyond. Yes, depending on where you live we have fewer restrictions, but nothing is the same. It has become a shock when we see someone sans mask. Early on, I had the distinct feeling that I had to do something that created a sense of normal. So, I dressed up (normal), went to my office (normal), and began doing video sessions (decidedly NOT normal). What have I learned in the last eight months?
I have learned that we are amazingly resilient. Somehow life does go on. We take care of our families, we go to work (more on that later), we fix dinner and we watch Netflix. We learned how to video friends and have happy hour (hopefully with only moderate drinking). We got into therapy when our marriages were in trouble, we tried to be creative with our children and we were respectful of others when we were walking our dogs, being careful to walk on the other side to give people physical space. We found our own rhythm and pace and found a schedule that somehow worked.
I have learned that our society is obsessed with physical health but much less concerned with emotional health and mental health. This is to our detriment. Media talks about safety ad nauseam, but the medical media is practically mum about suicide rates rising, increased addiction, depression and anxiety not only with the adult population but with children and young people in particular. My clients are hurting! We are social beings; we are healthier and live longer when we are connected and physically touched. We cannot do enough of that now.
I have learned that shutting down caused tremendous economic loss and therefore emotional and physical loss for millions of us. I cannot imagine losing a business that I spent my life-blood building, only to see it torn down by a virus and governmental restrictions. What about families whose caretakers have lost their job or jobs and struggle with paying bills and putting food on the table? I don't have the wisdom to offer another option, but I am willing to bet that the real cost will be seen even decades from now. And, what about the cost educationally? Children have disappeared from the educational system by the thousands. Where are they? What will happen to a generation of children who have lost at least a year of education? There are so many losses. Too many to name.
If you came to this blog hoping to find hope and reassurance, I have a feeling you will be disappointed. Do I think we will recover? Absolutely! Do I think we will eventually learn and be stronger because of it? Without doubt. But for now, I am with you. I am a fellow journeyman struggling with being sick of COVID in 2020.
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