Dear COVID-19 (Coronavirus),
We had no clue when you came into our lives a few short months ago, that you would turn our world upside down. Many of us are very attentive and saw you coming before you really hit. When you were in China, Italy, and then the U.S., we were reading about you and watching your destruction on the daily news. Initially, we had no real idea who you were, and although hazy, you have become much clearer. As a clinician, I look to my colleagues, friends and family to gain understanding about you through their perspective. Although we are all different, we all agree on the fact that you are no longer welcome here. It is important to understand that you have caused a lot of depression, anxiety, stress, financial hardship, isolation, and death.
We want to be able to visit our loved ones when they are sick or dying in the hospital. We want to congregate in our places of worship. We do not want to wear masks anytime we leave home. We want to shop for more than food, tissue, and sanitizer. We want to show up and support a friend who is having emergency surgery. We want to be able to visit our loved ones when they are sick or dying in the hospital; however, we cannot because of hospital restrictions imposed because of you. COVID-19, we miss the loved ones you have taken from us, no matter their age or socioeconomic status, they were loved. Through the words of a very smart child I happen to know, “funerals are for the living.” COVID-19, you have robbed many of us from traditional funerals because of social distancing, staying at least 6 feet apart, and having a maximum of only 10 people at a funeral. We should be mindful of Social distancing guidelines, but when we mourn our loved ones, we have no one to hug, and no shoulder to cry on. In true VaVa fashion, as a mother, wife, sister, friend, clinician, and all the other hats I wear, I'm here to let you know WE are turning this around. I have no control over you COVID-19. At this time, we have no vaccine to get rid of you. WE do; however, have control over the power we give you and although I have no love for you COVID-19, I do want to thank you for a few things:
● Thank you for reminding me of the importance of prayer and meditation.
● Thank you for reminding me that if I sit around the house and eat, I also need to exercise. Exercising releases dopamine and other chemicals that helps to regulate mood in a positive way. It also helps decrease feelings of depression.
● Thank you for reminding me that I don’t call my family and friends enough. We are zooming up a storm! We are reminiscing, sharing recipes, and learning to laugh at the small things again.
● Thank you for allowing us to understand what Faith really means.
● Thank you for giving us the wisdom to know when we should reach out to a friend or someone for professional help because we don’t want to be in this alone.
● Thank you for reminding us of what Empathy means.
More than anything else, I would like to thank the other epidemics and pandemics such as, Spanish Flu (1918), Asian Flu (1956), Cholera (1910), and H1N1 (2009). These awful diseases taught us that this too shall pass. For those who have been personally affected by COVID-19, my heart does go out to you.
If you are living with depression or any other mental health illness and feel that you need help, we are here for you. Renewed Mental Health wants you to feel free to reach out to us at 678-582-8947, in order to schedule a consultation. FYI, being that we are practicing social distancing, due to COVID-19, telehealth services are available.
Until next time, live on purpose.