A few months ago, I wrote a series of articles describing life under Covid lockdown. We had two months of restrictions and life was suddenly very different. It started out as a bit of a novelty and the funny side could be seen on occasions but it quickly became more serious as time went on. I would say that it could be seen as more difficult now with a bigger chance of catching the virus as restrictions are lifted. There are of course, precautions in place but there are also many people trying to avoid them. Despite the insistence that masks are worn in shops, supermarkets and closed spaces, some people, just dont get the idea of prevention or social distancing. Where I live, cases have been increasing because of this and people travelling from outside on holiday, etc.
It is widely accepted that the eye of the virus hurricane is very much over the United States at present where the situation can be seen as even worse. The whole situation appears to have been politicized and the idea of care of the population has taken lower priority. Some of the scenes and statements coming from there are unbelievable and one can only speculate where it will all end. Most of my clients from that part of the world are very worried, some depressed and some suffering severe anxiety. Not just about the virus which is running amok but also the attitude of the people in power who appear to be ” sniffing the wind” when making policies .
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In respect to how people are handling their lives at present, it seems that many are finding it very difficult. A report in the London Times highlighted the increase in people seeking help for anxiety and depression, more couples having issues and people struggling generally due to job and income loss. Especially couples are coming forward to deal with the issues of being together 24 hours a day during lockdown. Much of this has a delayed effect and can be seen only now as life gets back to being ‘normal’. People in abusive and controlling relationships will have been going through a very bad time, unable to escape their abuser. This is reflected in the massive increase in domestic violence rates seen throughout the world. It is true to say that life will not be the same for a long time and we are all affected by it.
One thing I have noticed talking to my clients, is the determination to carry forward some of the good habits learnt when all this is said and and done. Many have gained new skills, had a greater focus on healthy pursuits with eating better and exercising more. Many have decided to change their working life forever and practice self care more often. Some have come to the realisation that they want to change their job, location, partner and move on to something completely different.
One thing is for sure, therapists are very busy at present, especially those who have managed to take their practice online. ( Something I have been doing for twelve years). I am also very busy as people reach out to adjust to the new normal. As managed care systems appear to be overwhelmed at present, many people are looking to the private sector for help and here is where therapists have a responsibility to keep their fees within reach of the average person and make allowances for those on lower incomes who really need help.
At this point, I am reminded of one of my favourite authors, Scott Peck who started one of his most famous books with the sentence, ‘Life is difficult’. Little did he know when he wrote this 30 years ago, how true those words would become.
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Last week statistics said that per capita England has more cases of COVID than any other country. I imagine population density, in any country, is a major factor.
I have a friend there working in a grocery store outside of London. She has apparently had people verbally abuse her and actually spit on her, because she couldn’t get them what they wanted.
Engliand is now enforcing the use of masks, or visors, if people go out.
I have been isloted for decades by pain and disease, COVID has had very little impact on me personally.
Cairns has been fortunate here that the border lockdowns between States in Australia was enforced early. Located 1600 km (1000 miles) north of Brisbane, and other cities further north, with lots of open space, people have not been controlled as radically, except in shopping areas.
Oddly the first aircraft allowed in was from the UK, and introduced 2 cases of COVID. They had been given special leave to travel for a wedding. Considering other UK friends were not allowed to have a proper funeral – a twin of one family member, something that definitely only happens once in a lifetime and has more impact on loved ones …
Now tourism from the south of the country is likely to be introducing more risk.
There have certainly been some strange decisions.
Yes, the world is a strange place at present. It seems that we are all being told to get out and do all the things that were not allowed a few months ago with no evidence the virus is going anywhere any time soon.
LOL “Get outside and play!!” My mother’s favourite instruction when we were children.
People used to respect viruses and colds and take appropriate action. Then everyone began to think they were iron-clad, or something.
It’s been a good wake-up call, and making people STOP for a bit was a nice break for the other animals on the planet; not to mention the planet itself.
They will be back to exploiting minerals and planning to frack fumeroles again soon.
Life is difficult and the acceptance of this is almost half the battle in finding peace in any moment. I found lockdown to be an experience in personal growth. Day 1, I remember sitting on my bed in terror on how I was going to manage, scared of the virus, bewildered by the lack of control and dealing with a sense of loss around all things I had taken for granted. 3 months later, grateful for the opportunity of having seen the seasons change on a day to day basis, grateful for simple pleasures such as walks and zoom meetings. It’s shown me, I am good with my own company, i don’t need a lot in order to find peace. However, I did struggle often with the sense of zero control and noticed a tendency to ruminate at times and eating disorder thoughts becoming more pervasive. I think a lot of people will come out of this shell shocked and traumatised. Not just the lockdown but the fear of contracting something that the media has really enjoyed ramping up. It is very serious but the way it’s been handled in the UK has been to terrorise us. The aftermath of serious mismanagement by the government will mean plenty of avoidable deaths will have to be answered for such as cancer patients, heart patients; and a mental health crisis which I’m sure will be huge.
Thank you for the comment. I am not in the UK at present but watch from afar with disbelief at the way it is being handled there. I am glad that it turned out better for you than first expected but you are right, some will be feeling the effects for a long time.
Good post Dr Jenner and yes therapists will always be needed. Ones like yourself even moreso.
However therapists can only treat the people that feel they “need” help, and are willing to be helped. Its hard to be in therapy, and there is a certain amount of humility involved in looking at yourself and admitting that you are not dealing with things and life well or not dealing with others well.
Most do not wish to even admit that, let alone actually dig into the reasons why.
This type of genuine, honest self reflection, and humility is lacking more and more in a world where greed, selfishness and injustice continue to rule.
Dr Jenner allows people on lower incomes to benefit from his expertise, but I fear there are many therapists out there who will not be so self-sacrificing with their time and money as he is.
Yeah, strange world indeed!
I almost feel stupid or like I’m being too overly cautious at times because so many in the UK are not wearing a mask. Not even in shops where you are supposed to. I actually got told to back off from a man in a shop the other day, and he wasn’t even wearing a mask. I was wearing a mask and trying to reach something off shelf….and I thought….the cheek of it!
There is a tendency to do as everyone else is doing wherever you go, and therefore, as rules and restrictions lessen, there seems to be also a general relaxed atmosphere about it all now, like: “yeah…we are over the worst, we got through it, right let’s carry on with life now”
I agree it’s hard to keep in that alert mind set, and trust me I know, especially when everyone around you is doing the opposite.
Plus people can pretty much be walking around with corona virus and have hardly any symptoms at all. Wouldn’t even know they got it, and then affecting others and not know it. If that doesn’t make you wary, I don’t know what does.
Also today, I read the first cat in the UK tested positive with Covid19. I have 3 cats.
As for the US, I really fear for them. The saying comes to mind: “sheep without a shepherd”…but that would mean that its leader has some redeemable qualities.
Thank you for the profound comment and kind words.
I am not American, but as a Canadian I often get people’s displacement attitudes. People love to hate the Americans and I would be the first to express my incredulity that Donald Trump (who not only bankrupted himself several times but many contractors and sub-contractors and … a reprehensible character) is in political power, but a saying always comes to mind when I hear people in a worst spot speaking out about America:
Clean up your own backyard first.
I think it commendable that you keep wearing a mask, and you should in the UK where the cases of COVID per capita is highest in the world, by the statistics.
It’s sad when people cage other animals and then do not keep them safe. I adore cats. It’s sad to hear that pets are starting to pay the price for their people’s stupidity.
There have already been cases of zoo animals with COVID. Those not able to run and walk freely and be able to keep themselves healthy; all for man’s amusement, or pretence of knowledge.
I was told that everyone in the UK is supposed to be wearing a mask now, by friends in the UK. Don’t follow the lemmings. Keep your mask on and take the high ground when others are behaving badly.
Well, done you. Keep your own yard clean. 🙂 There’s no harm in being an individual, often a benefit.
“The best thing about going the extra mile is that you so often have it to yourself.”
It is true people do love to hate Americans. I actually have friends and family over there. And I’ve spent time over there and know some of the pressures people face.
I guess I hate the way many of them feel they want or need to behave and act, often due to poor management and decisions from those who are meant to be leading.
I have nothing against Americans, or any other person from another country for that matter.
What is certainly clear is that we are all in the fight against Covid no matter what country we come from or live in.
I feel there is no “after Covid” Dr Jenner. It is here to stay whether we like it or not.
It is a question of how we each individually now take the responsibility to keep ourselves and those we love safe.
Sorry. That comment was from Chey, not Dr Jenner.
I often marvel that the population of single States, like Texas and California, are much greater than the population of entire countries, like Canada and Australia. America is a very diverse country. I am Canadian by birth and live in Australia, now operated by a school teacher and marketer, respectively. Yikes!!! Politics have changed globally. 🙂
Thankfully viruses and bacteria reproduce very rapidly and genetic variation can weaken the strain rapidly. Former pandemic viruses have mutated to be very weak strains. Hopefully isolating this virus will make that period of weakening the strain that much faster.
It will end, and hopefully people will have learned something from the experience.