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  • Mental Health For All

Coronavirus and the positives, yes you read that correctly

Coronavirus, COVID-19, a global pandemic, the biggest challenge that the world has faced since the Second World War. We’ve heard all of the above for a few months now and it has become too easy to nervously digest all of the news we hear about Coronavirus and get bogged down. We here about the strict lockdowns that have been introduced by governments around the world, we hear about the number of deaths daily, we hear about the lack of PPE, we hear about the consequences of all this going forward.

There is a common theme here and although of course it is of the utmost importance that the cold facts of the dangers of Coronavirus are made aware to us, we rarely here of anything positive during this unusual time with a worldwide pandemic affecting us all. The scenario that we are confronted with is a completely unprecedented one and it is for this reason why it is so natural for us to be anxious about it all, given there is no reference point as to how to respond to all this. That said, however bleak a situation is, there is always a positive and here I will discuss a few of these.

For me the most positive outcome out of all this is the community spirit which is not just evident throughout communities up and down the UK but all around the world as well. Ultimately, we have become human again. This may sound odd but what I mean by this is that with our incredibly modern lives and our 24/7 society many of us are often too engrossed into what we are doing for us to think about anything outside of our direct responsibilities – our jobs, our families, paying our bills, our free time etc. and this can be very much logical. The desperate situation that we find ourselves in has meant that the caring side of many us has come out, regarding not just our family and friends but also our neighbours, those most vulnerable in our communities and the fantastic key workers who have kept the country going in recent weeks. These include all the heroic NHS staff, supermarket workers and delivery workers.

In addition, this period of time has allowed us to reflect. This may sound very vague but this time for reflection is absolutely crucial, in a time when our very busy lives mean that this is often a rarity and we go from task to task, day to day, week to week with little time to stop, breathe and reflect. A lot of us are constantly on the move and therefore some time to reflect on our jobs, our goals and our progress ought to be very much welcomed.

Quality family time - it may be that many of us have been complaining about effectively being on top of each other for the last few weeks, confined to and limited by four walls to a large extent. However, this is something that we should take advantage of and treasure as for many us lots of family time is something that we could only wish for.

It may be the words that I write are written with the experience of the UK in mind but, as I’m sure you would agree, the fight against Coronavirus is of course not limited to the UK and we have seen cooperation globally between nations to fight this awful disease. Actions taken together by a number of different countries around the world have shown what we can achieve when we come together as a global community. In addition, as a result of the lockdown in place and leaving the house to exercise being one of our only freedoms currently, many of us are perhaps spending more time outside than normal.

In many cases we are appreciating the natural world more as we rely on it for our leisure time and more significantly our freedom right now and therefore it becomes even more apparent that we need to take care of it as put simply, we do not have another one. So, my point here is that if we can work together to fight the Coronavirus pandemic which we regard as a global emergency of course, there is no reason why we cannot display the same urgency and determination to solve the issue of climate change, which is of course a global emergency.

Just a few weeks without a large majority of the cars that are normally on the roads has resulted in a huge fall in air pollution in a number of different countries. A step like this in the right direction, which has been indirect due to lockdowns and therefore unintentional, tells us what can be achieved when we show real determination and intent to care for our beautiful planet.

Underneath all these things that have been alluded to is the simple but significant idea that after all this we will be more grateful for all those little things that usually are very easy to take for granted. Therefore, when this all passes over, which it will, let’s be grateful for that time we spend catching up with a friend, that flight that we can catch for our annual summer holiday, travelling as we wish, the list goes on.

We now live such free lives with so much at our fingertips that it has become easy to forget what the most basic, valued and important things in our lives are. Going forward and looking ahead let’s be more grateful for these little things and take time to reflect on this.

So, it may be that the Coronavirus global pandemic is a great challenge to us all but let’s not forget the positives that can be taken from this period and not just now, but into the near future and beyond. Let’s continue to be grateful for all workers during the pandemic and also coming out of it; we must always be grateful for these people and not just temporarily during these times. Ultimately, we are human beings as part of a larger and greater society and as a result we rely on so many people for our health, our children’s education, our ability to feed ourselves and much more, so let’s be more grateful towards each other.

Also, let’s continue to look out for that friend who you haven’t spoken to for a long time, that neighbour who you do not always see, that vulnerable person at the end of your road and not just when there is an emergency as we see now.

And finally, let’s keep smiling – the positives are there for us all to see.

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