A pestilence does not have human dimensions, so people tell themselves that it is unreal, that it is a bad dream which will end. But it does not always end and, from one bad dream to the next, it is people who end, humanists first of all because they have not prepared themselves.
― Albert Camus, The Plague
In spite of volunteering to provide counselling to anyone on the UCH front line I have only had one associated session so far. As with any trauma while the individual is immersed 24/7 in ‘the action’, or emotional response to the immediate action, traumatic consequences tend to be repressed. Today is the first time that one of my ‘patients’, in fact the very oldest, reached out to me from where she is in lockdown abroad for guidance: someone is in urgent need of bereavement care. A young person recently bereaved of her mother, independent to COVID, suddenly finds themselves living alone in London. Their father has died. He was discharged from hospital having recovered from the virus but has now succumbed to an associated illness one month later.
How does one say ‘No’? How does one protect oneself from overworking? Solutions, which cannot include turning a blind eye to tragedy will be found…
I have just finished today’s Zooms. Only one person has spoken to me about COVID. What have the rest been preoccupied by?
The vagaries of love.