Lonely under lockdown πŸ˜ͺ

Clearly lockdown provides a great opportunity to stay in pyjamas all day, however…

Being a recluse loses its appeal after 10 months, and I think we’re all running out of stoicism and the ability to entertain ourselves and our kids under anti-social restrictions. Of course, we’re back in lockdown for a reason but I doubt the policy to adopt the risk averse approach for a number of reasons. Mental wellness is not just about work-life balance, it’s about human connection as well.

I’m worried about elderly people, confused that relatives cannot come in and hug them within their living space. Its an impossible situation for those with dementia or alzheimers who simply do not understand why no one loves them anymore. For these aging people, at high risk of corona virus yet also approaching the end of their natural life, why should they miss out on the love of family and their friends who make life worth living? What is the human cost of someone dying without sharing their final words of love and farewell? The cost is high and somewhat pointless.

The power of touch is an essential human need. We are mammals, comforted by familiar smells and physical closeness. When someone dies we don’t remember how much they earned, what they achieved, or what they did. We remember how we loved them, enjoyed seeing them and what it felt like to hold them. The most worrying story I heard recently was where a son was pulled away from comforting his mother at the funeral of his father. Ridiculous. A bizarre intervention, an inhuman interference and preposterous officious at such a painful time.

Churches and social spaces are currently considered non-essential but offer a space for friendship and conversation, also an essential human need (please bring back the coffee shops as I’m facing serious cake deprivation!). These spaces are critical for the alleviation of loneliness and isolation, particularly for the older generation and parents with young children…

We need some fun and a sense of humour to get through difficult times. We need a laugh with our mates, wherever and however that is. My annual Christmas party cancelled. The opportunity to meet and make new friends removed.

I understand that people are at risk. I understand that people have died and I acknowledge people are scared. But I’m also scared that the suicide rate may increase due to loneliness resulting in depression. I’m worried we can’t celebrate the good things or mourn effectively with others who cared fir the one who was lost. I’m concerned that we are not able to laugh despite our tears, and heal through the laughter, friendship and companionship.

Let’s seek a better solution than just closing everything. I’m hoping someone in a position of power out there agrees…

Love Ruth x

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