In Pakistan, Covid hit hard in many ways. It’s a poor developing country and so the economic hit has been overwhelming. It also took a great toll where the awareness of mental health is still relatively new. There were many who were seeking therapy secretively so as lockdowns started, they were unable to continue, online not being an option for them. Financial consideration was another issue so many of us tried to support our clients by offering some financial relief.
In all honesty, Covid changed my life to a small degree. I was one of those who took the precautions but did not allow Covid to get in the way as much as it did for many. The lockdown in our part of the world wasn’t so stringent and so I continued to meet people but followed safety protocols. I wasn’t scared and fiercely challenged Covid in its face and secretly contributed it to mindfulness, positive attitude, and ferocious courage. It worked for a year until I got bit by the Covid bug and what a painful bite it was. My first reaction after being tested was of intense betrayal. ‘Pfizer, how could you?’ And then came fever, chills, unbearable body aches and an insane kind of weakness that I have never experienced in my life. There was also this wave of depression that hit me and continued to linger post getting better.
As a therapist, my work surprisingly did not suffer, and my clients found one or another way to reach out. We started having sessions in my front yard and that hour was as important for me as for them as I did not feel socially isolated. But I did notice a regression in many of my clients as they lost jobs, felt personal space being invaded being in lockdowns and especially for those with anxiety and depression. At times I felt overwhelmed holding the space for so many. As I transitioned to online for some clients, that was a challenge for me and I found it hard to connect to my clients in this new space.
We are not alone. We are all processing this collective trauma playing our little bit to create a world that can function as well as it can and it will continue to change.
This page first appeared in the UKAGP Newsletter. View the Newsletter here.