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The effect of the coronavirus: A personal reflection

We may be psychotherapists or counsellors but we are human beings too, and all of us are affected by the Coronavirus - either directly or indirectly - through the lockdown.

I hope fellow professionals can identify with this poem and, in doing so, it will help us all to recognise how much the changes have affected our working practises, as well as those of our clients.

My husband died at the end of October and I am experienced in working with and through the grieving process but the lockdown and isolation bring so many different dimensions to loss.

The poem I have written tries to describe the deeper sense of loss of life at the moment as well as the existential fears I imagine most of us have. Throughout my training and my own personal therapy, I have written many poems and have found the therapeutic value in externalising my thoughts and feelings. 

Maybe writing poetry, keeping a journal, singing, painting or drawing can help each one of you and these may be ways in which clients can share their fears at this time.

The Effect of the Coronavirus

My world feels really strange right now

Silent most of the time

And feeling alone in a way that I can’t remember

Ever feeling

Each hour merges into the next,

Each day passes by

And I can’t even remember the day or the date

Or is it just a never-ending long weekend

Staying in most of the time to avoid an invisible virus

That just might end my life or yours

It can’t be seen, can’t be touched, can’t be warded off

Except by isolating and maintaining social distance

As I see the number of cases and deaths rise each day

I can honestly say that I’m scared

I don’t want to be whisked off to a hospital

And put on a ventilator to die alone with no chance to say goodbye

There’s an eerie silence and life seems so surreal

With streets that are empty

Cars on driveways sit quietly saving fuel

Instead of going to work

Holidays are cancelled,

Aeroplanes stand at airports

Going nowhere

And tourist sites are empty

The pace of life has slowed down

The air is much clearer

With limited exhaust fumes polluting

The skies

Schools are closed

Children stay at home

Working online to do their studies

Learning in different ways, distanced from their friends

The NHS is overwhelmed

But fights each day to treat so many people

We owe them our lives

We owe them our respect

As I sat in my garden in the sun

I heard the birds singing

Saw a robin hopping on the branches that are still coming into bud

Saw the blueness of the sky and I gave thanks for the natural things in life

I don’t need a Mercedes or a Lamborghini

Or to win the National Lottery

I need to be with people I love and value

To share special moments with laughter and to give each other a hug

I hope when all this is over

That we’ve learnt what’s important in life

And I hope we continue to treasure each minute

Show compassion, kindness and support

To truly value each person

Our family, neighbours and friends

Take time to ring, to Skype, to text, to check that we’re all ok

Not just through this dreadful virus but every single day

Let’s cherish the time we have left in our lives

And never take life for granted

Let’s feel blessed each day we open our eyes

And know we can get through anything together.

- Christine Redfern Psychotherapist April 2020

If you like this poem, I published a book in 2013 called ‘Shades of Self - Poetic Integration’ with a Forward written by Richard G Erskine. It captures much of my growth and learning.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Christine Redfern Post Graduate Diploma Integrative Psychotherapy MBACP

I was a secondary teacher in mainstream schools for 24 years before joining a Behaviour Service and working in both primary and secondary schools, working with staff, parents and children. I qualified in Integrative Psychotherapy at the Sherwood Institute in Nottingham, doing the four year Masters Course without the research, finishing with a PgDip… Read more

Written by Christine Redfern Post Graduate Diploma Integrative Psychotherapy MBACP

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