It could be as hard to exit Lockdown as it was to enter it
As we go into the summer, many countries have started to loosen restrictions and are exiting the state of lockdown. However, it is just not that simple to go back to normal.
If we go back to the beginning of March we will recall an issue in the Wuhan area of China, we will recall that it had started to move sinisterly into Europe via Italy and Spain at first. I remember thinking to myself, quite selfishly, will I still be able to go to Mexico in April for our honeymoon?
I am almost ashamed of my naivety.
As a newly married couple, my wife and I decided that lockdown was a period that we could cope with without some of the issue’s others may have. I couldn’t really understand how difficult it would be for those in abusive relationships, those with young families, those with older children, those with illness or disability who relied so much on third party help and those children in potentially abusive situations or in poverty.
My mind turned soon after my ‘decision’ that we could cope with those who could not. It was not a particularly nice set of circumstances to imagine. Having witnessed at first hand the tragedy COVID has brought to families in terms of illness and even losing family members which there have been over 40,000 in the UK alone I have to pay some sort of acknowledgement to the unseen effect.
Having lost a very dear friend of mine exactly 2 years ago to suicide I feel it has never been as important as now to be cognisant of what is not going on around us all. What is not being seen and what is not being talked about.
The fact is that a colleague or friend with anxiety, fear and mental health problems very probably will not tell you.
For instance, do we know that our colleagues and single friends who live alone have been looking after themselves recently? Are we all sure that we know that our older friends and family have had that phone call to check on their wellbeing? Do we sit back and think about our friends, colleagues and family who may well be experiencing fear and anxiety through lockdown and beyond?
If in reading this article each of you stops and thinks for 120 seconds about that then I think it has been worthwhile.
That is if you act on that thought.
Who do you know, in or out of work, that seems a little withdrawn? Who has been through something out of the ordinary in the run-up to lockdown that would have left them vulnerable throughout? Who has not returned that phone call or text? Who does not contribute much on that Zoom meeting?
The real likelihood is that those who have experienced some sort of trauma before or during lockdown are going to be extremely apprehensive about coming out of it and facing colleagues and friends to have to talk about ‘the issues’ so they will need all the help they can get.
The emotional energy we have all expended getting through lockdown cannot be underestimated. The fear and anxiety some or even all of us will have boarding a train, a flight or having a face to face business meeting will be quite overwhelming for some, maybe for all of us. We can get through it by talking openly about our fears, asking for help where it is needed and not have a stigma attached to it.
I do not believe it is a weakness asking for help… I believe it is a huge strength to admit you need help.
Pace yourself, talk to people, do what you can do, control what you can control and look for the support of others especially colleagues, friends, family and loved ones. We will get back to normal, of that I am sure.
Andy Taylor, Sales Director at Haydock Finance