A weird year? Undoubtedly! But things are seemingly settling. The advent of vaccines and the natural cycle of a pandemic means it is maybe time for a reset.
There has been many global events in the history of man, going back to the wipeout of dinosaurs, the effects of the ice age and the slower effects of the plate tectonics, and the volcanos and earthquakes. All very dynamic in their own ways. We then move to plagues, world wars, and more recently, tsunamis and famines. In order to renew, we need to look at where we are, where we want to be, and what is standing in the way.
So where does Covid-19 fit in the great scheme of things? Darwinism and theories of survivor the fittest springs to mind. Indeed the current vaccination programme actually targets first the elderly and clinically extremely vulnerable which is against that premise but seems very humanitarian.. Children seem to have largely evaded whole scale deaths. But recently more credence to their role as vectors of the spread of the virus has been taken seriously. School closures and restrictions on university face to face teaching.
I am particularly mindful of the Great plague and the transmission of that through fleas in cloth bails to Eyam in Derbyshire and the subsequent lockdown of the village to prevent it spreading to adjacent villages. Self sacrifice to protect others. It makes our attempt at lockdown look pathetic. It also brings the scenario of locking down borders as happened in Australia and New Zealand as a way of control. Sadly this didn’t happen in the UK.
However this is not about a policy or economic debate. It is about moving forward and learning from this global incident. In terms of my work it has brought a completely different perspective. This is where, for me personally, reset has come to the fore. I am definitely changing focus. After two years working with educational staff I am moving on. Partially because after over 200 clients I need to be aware of the effect of the enormity of their issues upon me personally. Partly because I actually retired two years ago and this current situation makes me realise that retirement is about enjoying life without the constant work pressure. The third factor is health and age related. My reset was does not mean giving up. On the contrary it has made me wonder how best to make use of my experience and skills.
So to regrouping. As we all would hope , when this virus has run its course, the world will be a better place. However the damage done to us all is yet to be ascertained. The threat to society is economic, financial, social and psychological. Sadly I have not any control over the first three. However my input into the third is now changing. Focusing more on those bereaved by sudden death, especially Covid related trauma, and in particular, global and supervision of other counsellors and student on placement. In doing this I can focus on quality and areas where I can make a difference. There is so much to offer to other counsellors drawing on my 22 years experience – seeing students qualify and go on to practice – seeing the bereaved striving to find a life without their loved ones and making sense of their grief and accompanying emotions.
Reset – How can individuals make a difference? What will the future look like? What is the new normal?
No one actually knows yet. Short term, we want to get out of lockdown and meet up with family, friends and colleagues. I know parents are counting down to the schools reopening, so that they can get on with their jobs and the children can continue to learn in a group environment again. That tells us we are indeed missing the face to face communication. But is it time to review how we fundamentally communicate and use this as an opportunity to change?
The opportunity can also fill us with fear – but if we feel the fear and do it anyway, who knows how the world will look? As Gandhi said ”If you want to change the world, be that change.” So this is your opportunity now. Again we are reminded of Nietzsche: “ what doesn’t kill you can make you stronger.” In the main we have survived this global event. Instead of fear then, look at Hope – hope for a world where you can find a niche and be comfortable, not like lemmings following the pack. Use this as your opportunity, not a threat. Wherever you want to be, then take those small steps towards that place, by looking first at what is standing in the way. Then the world may be a very different place for you.
In terms of my world my reset involves more focus on supporting others on their life journey and helping them to Think Differently.