Like everyone else, I am trying to understand my response to a virus that threatens my life and the lives of the people I love. But it also happens that for nearly 30 years I have worked as a clinical psychologist with people facing cancer, and I am noticing some parallels between what my patients have told me and what people seem to be talking about now.
Every year thousands of medical students go through and we explain to them the risks associated with certain drugs. Why is it now when I am saying that maybe my colleagues are underestimating those risks, I’ve been pulled up with complaints?
Our safety systems have been alerted to differing levels since January 2020 when the coronavirus epidemic came to light. The appropriateness of this fear response needs to be highlighted, in part because it will protect us, and in part because we must normalise this response rather than viewing it as a ‘disorder’.
We need a new narrative of shared distress to replace the failed one of individual disorders. We need human connection and mutual support. We can learn to manage our feelings in a way that helps us through the crisis and gives us the energy to make much-needed social and environmental changes afterwards. The usual dividing lines melt away in the face of global emergency. We really are all in this together.
A collection of non-medical, non-pathologising resources to help us all survive the crisis. A list of blogs, videos, articles and helpful resources related to the coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic.