“Understand that thoughts are thoughts. If they are unreasonable, reason with them, even if you have no reason left. You are the observer of your mind, not its victim.” Matt Haig
It’s difficult isn’t it – this observing lockdown.
It’s especially difficult for people living on their own, those shielding and those trapped inside a home with a violent partner or parent.
More attention is now being paid to mental health issues. It was always the add on, the extra to health expenditure – to the provision of services.
People who are in the shielded category are now being asked to remain in self isolation till 31st of July. They can go outside now into public places so long as those areas are not busy. People in care homes who are shielding cannot even do that.
Public Health Scotland have a survey for those in the shielded category.
It takes 15 minutes and if you are in that category or you care for someone who is I would encourage you to send in your experience of lockdown and the measures put in place.
It is only open until Sunday, June 14th 2020 which is quite a short time but it is important that lessons are learned from the way the pandemic has been managed.
Many of those in the shielding category will also be living on their own.
For all of us, living on our own, we have had no physical contact since the start of lockdown – and some people went into self isolation before that.
It is like being in solitary confinement with little breaks – small tantalising moments of freedom when you go for a walk or to get essential supplies.
There are days when it is extremely difficult.
If you have someone you can phone or contact online, please do – they very likely will be feeling the same way. No one is enjoying this.
Even a brief conversation – just to hear the voice of someone else – to know that others out there care about you – makes a huge difference to your day.
And for all the awfulness, the days of feeling down about living on my own, I am in good physical health. I do not have to share my home with someone who would abuse me or my children.
People living in homes with the constant threat of domestic violence have a much worse situation to deal with.
And although this time of isolation and lack of physical contact is hard to get through people do it not only to protect themselves – but to protect others.
What you are doing has prevented the spread of Covid19.
When the public inquiry is held into the management of this public health crisis and we look at how we did – and how other nations who dealt differently have dealt with it, like New Zealand and the Faroe Islands – we need lessons to be learned.
We need government at every level to address: early preventative measures; the importance of clear public health communication at a local level; transparency; training; PPE supply that is fit for purpose (and fits the wearer); universal basic income; social care reform; and mental health services. I’m sure there are many more that can be added to this list.
I’ve read a lot of nonsense about how this self isolation will make you stronger. You were already strong. You are strong. You are not weak and never were because you have days when you feel down. This too shall pass.
“You, yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” The Buddah
Reporter: Fiona Grahame