Updated: Sep 3, 2020
Dare I say the words 'Covid-19' without a shudder going down by spine?
From something which seemed so impossible and distant, to an unavoidable truth every person in the wold has had to face, I find myself asking 'how did this happen?'
To be honest, when I first heard of Covid-19 I experienced it as a mild inconvenience. I suddenly had to wash my hands more and log it, learn to recognise 2 meters by sight and navigate the impossibly inefficient one-way systems put in place. It was mildly amusing that it became more shameful to cough or sneeze in public than to pass wind but then it moved closer.
Seeing daily updates of the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths, watching the figures creep up and the urgency in the voices of those in a position to advise us get more and more urgent. Our freedoms and worlds became suddenly smaller whilst it appeared our care and compassion for one another grew. I was uplifted by the 'clap for Heroes' routine of a Thursday night and the country coming together to appreciate those services which, before now had been unnoticed, unappreciated and yet relied upon. The stories of people from all communities coming together to support those in need,and how as a way of freeing people from their trappings of isolation new and creative methods of making contact were developed.'YES' I thought, it's happening, through the devastation of this disease, compassion was developing.
Then Covid-19 really hit my world.
My mom had a stroke and had to go into hospital. Alone. We were not able to visit her, because of how the stroke presented mum was not able to initially use or speak into a phone. The woman who I owed all that I was to, and I had spent my life striving to support was taken away from me. I felt powerless, alone, a failure as a daughter. However, I attempted to 'see the rainbow' - had it not been for Covid-19, my mom would have been alone in the house when the stroke occurred, as it was, she wasn't, and so help was at hand quickly which, without wanting to sound dramatic, likely saved her life. Thank-you Covid for that!
As my mom battled with the effects of the stroke to recover enough so she could return home, I prickled at the news of seeing crowds of people, now frustrated by their isolation and desperate for some semblance of 'normality' (whatever that is) rush to the beaches, town centres and pubs. I felt again, a loss of control, my freedom, my ability to see and hug my mom was dependent on everyone else, 'doing their bit'. Continuing to be patient, considerate of others, caring for their communities as opposed to satisfying merely the self to ensure that we all were safe.
When the pubs and shops reopened it felt like a roller-coaster of emotions - I was hopeful for the sign of things to come whilst mindful that some were now not here to feel that hope. I was cautious of re-embracing life whilst eager to reengage with the world and all it had to offer but most of all, I feel heavy by how quickly we have lost that beautiful gift of humanity that, for a fleeting moment we found. The ability to look beyond ourselves and consider our neighbours. How we embraced our creativity to find new ways to connect, amuse and grow and spend time focusing on what our soul needed as opposed to what everyone else thought we 'should' have. The speed in which this appears to have been lost has taken my breath away and I hold hope that it isn't totally gone and still lingers in every one of us.
Take care of each other and listen to your soul.
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