"The Discomfort You're Feeling is Grief"
I read an article today called "The Discomfort You're Feeling is Grief" and the stages of Covid-19 grief, it outlines so accurately, how I have been feeling these past few weeks.
1. "This virus won't affect us" (denial)
Three months ago, this far away “the Virus” was the talk of Christmas & New Year Parties. Three weeks ago, I was on holidays in Tasmania with my kids. We were feeling healthy and we hadn't been to China so this wasn't going to affect us.
2. "You're making me stay home and taking away my activities?” (anger)
As I crossed out commitments, holidays, social visits, freelance work and gigs from my diary, I was feeling angry and cheated. I felt (and still do feel to some degree) ripped off that this was my year of parental leave that I wanted to spend taking my kids on holidays and adventures has been lost.
3. "If I social distance (self-isolate) for two weeks, everything will be better" (bargaining)
I thought if I stayed at home for two weeks, then that was my commitment done. Or that if I stayed home most of the time, then I could still go out when I wanted to, as if somehow, I had earned it.
4. "I don't know when this will end" (sadness)
This has been my state of mind for the last week and it's been a mournful place.
5. "This is happening, I have to figure out how to proceed" (acceptance)
As the length of Covid-19 social distancing margins are expected to blow out from three months to six months, to twelve months, to eighteen months, I realise that I must accept it. My being angry about it will not change the reality we are living in right now. I spend more time with my kids and less time on my phone reading news and updates about the Coovid-19 pandemic.
I don't think grief is linear and I expect to revisit all these stages many times over and probably not in order. I expect the anger and sadness to set in as milestones, all birthday celebrations are missed.
When I feel overwhelmed, which is often, I remind myself that a global pandemic like this is unprecedented in my lifetime. So of course, I feel overwhelmed and it's okay to feel that way.