Today is Tanya’s birthday. We have not seen each other since we closed our offices at the beginning of March. We are both therapists and find it equally hard at the end of a day’s Zoom-work to summon energy for a personal chat. Most of our evening calls, when they happen, are related to an emergency of the day. We often have to put a veto on talking about professional issues. Human anguish is never rationed and in these days of lockdown, while many people surprise me with their emotional health, their resolve to stay in the uncertainty of ‘Now’, when things go wrong they tend to explode. Forget Boris Johnson, bold as brass, on the day of his return, broadcasting that the NHS, sentient of the increase in psychological emergencies and post traumatic stress has now improved access to help for everyone via the NHS England website. Someone I know had no alternative last week but to drive several miles across country to attend as a chaperone at the nearest A and E where they sat all night with a distressed adolescent who never got beyond the nurse triage. The following morning at 8 AM they were directed to a mental health hub on the other side of the campus where somebody in Admin requested their release signature. So much for emergency care for Child and Adolescent Mental Health in England.
Life is definitely harder working and living from home. There is more rubbish to recycle for a start. In our household everyone gets up looking recognisably ourselves; by evening we have metamorpho-sized into pale, despite swallowing handfuls of vitamin D, phantoms. Bell, transparent as porcelain, has taken to sharing my ‘meteoric pearl blusher. ‘
Dido tries to make sense of all the disembodied voices that have become her weekday pre-occupation. I call her Sad Ey’d Lady of the Lowlands. Mournful, she insists on sitting beside me all day except when she is exercising. (She has her own personal trainer 4 times a week!)
As well as it being Tanya’s birthday we seem to have another bizarre symptom of COVID to celebrate. Happy Hypoxia everyone!