We are all having very different experiences of the effects of coronavirus but there are many which are shared that go to the very core of being human. In general, humans are naturally sociable beings who thrive on personal interaction with others being physically present in the same space. It is valuable being able to maintain ‘virtual’ contact with family, friends and acquaintances, but it is not the same; something is missing from the lack of physical presence. Either from home or outside home, the silence is deafening from the lack of chatter of people being together and it seems unnatural to step away from everyone around you apart from those you live with.
Those of us who retreat into a bubble to try to cope with what is going on around us are not alone. Many are fearful and anxious about the effects of coronavirus on themselves and their loved ones and the near, middle and long-term future looks a scary place. For those who have existing anxiety and depression, the suffering is multiplied. The impact of the policy to keep washing your hands can have a negative impact on those experiencing OCD ( Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), both on those who have managed to find effective coping strategies and those still struggling to find a way through. Both groups are experiencing a serious set-back.
My counselling and psychotherapy business has needed to adapt in the lockdown and work with clients continues by Skype. It is a more restrictive way of working, clearly not the same as sitting in a counselling room where we are physically present with each other. However, we are still able to have valuable engagement through the combined visual and audio contact and achieve the level of progress that we were able to in the counselling room. ‘Virtual’ counselling seems to be ‘good enough’ and as such should be valued as an effective resource of support for those with emotional, psychological, physical and any other wellbeing needs.