Should we feel good about Covid-19 restrictions?

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“My son, I just tell the nurses that it makes me feel more tired.”

My mother was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2016. It is a type of cancer that affects the blood. She is now undergoing end-stage renal treatment for her kidneys while her cancer is in remission.

I complain about current Lockdown measures in Oldham while my mother gracefully extends her maternal sympathies and reiterates her stance succinctly.

Those words reflect a reality that exists behind the slogans of ‘stay home, save lives’ ad nauseum.

This article aims to covey a different perspective on the state of the pandemic, the measures in place, and the impact of both on our mental health.

Researchers, clinicians, and other medical professionals are documenting mental health illnesses triggered and aggravated by the current rules and restrictions.

Three levels of psyche

Trauma models indicate that there are three levels to a person’s psyche; the level of good health which enables a person to fully enjoy life, the level of trauma which contains the strongest feelings of pain and anguish, and the level in between which activates a person’s survival strategies.

Some psychologists state unambiguously that these pandemic procedures are traumatising society; the masks, the social distancing, the testing, the monitoring, the fear.

The policies in place cause chronic stress on a person’s mental health. Like the sinews of a muscle, slowly being torn apart. Chronic stress overwhelmingly leads to two negative survival instincts, depression or aggression.

Who could imagine the extroverts in our lives retreating into their homes, waiting for the contagious storm to pass? When did someone, with mouth uncovered, face exposed, sneezing or coughing, deserve to be despised, abused, or demonised?

University of Manchester research

The University of Manchester conducted research surveys during the pandemic. They noted that amidst a general decline in mental health in the UK, younger people especially young children, women and those marginalised by society have suffered more than most.

The University of Manchester recommends more extensive public health announcements, and further educational initiatives to improve mental health. Simple and easy to implement guidelines for the government to follow.

“Allah has already decreed death for each and every being in the earthly realm.”

Certain, more radical health professionals recommend a complete overhaul of the conventional health care system, to trust our bodies and minds. This would prevent societies from being pathologised, and enshrine a sense of normalcy. A critique of both modern health care systems and the current response to Covid-19.

However, Allah creates both illnesses and their cures. When a person’s heart is steadfast, the tragedies of life including ill health become the means of obtaining unimaginable, heavenly rewards.

Allah has already decreed death for each and every being in the earthly realm.

When we reflect and ponder over our lives, the greatest elixir for this pandemic is with Allah, our Merciful Creator. An everlasting life awaits; a true cure for all sorrow and loss, or an endless torment, far worse than any virulent disease.

Good health is a blessing that strengthens a person’s body, faith is a blessing that strengthens the heart and tempers the mind. This is the advice that my mother taught me, the advice I intend to live by and teach to my child. I pray that guidance, good health and understanding come to all who have read this article.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I pray your mother is as comfortable as she can be and I am sorry she is fighting through renal failure and cancer at the same time. My father died of dilated cardiomyopathy, renal failure and diabetes in March, if of course it was not Covid related which we will never know.

    I have seen stark approaches to Covid across the community. During Ramadan for instance I saw some Muslims were doing all they could to follow social distancing and lockdown rules. I saw others blatantly disregarding rules not because the rules did not make sense (at times they did not and still continue to not make sense) but because Mr Johnson has no rapport with Muslim communities in Britain and indeed calls Muslim women ‘letterboxes’. Which meant that some Muslims wouldn’t listen to a word he said, even if a tiny proportion of it did make sense.

    Not to justify Mr Johnson’s idiocy or indeed his party’s general poor response to Covid (especially Mr Cummings who can visit castles and allege it was a legal visit) but I did see some in the community not respecting the rules and to the detriment of the community that has been.

    I hope that suspended mental health services will continue to receive funding and it will not be another way to make cost savings. It is hard to determine the true extent Covid has impacted mental health. We need to decipher that and then implement adequate funding and resources into it.

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  2. This post is so well written and the details are just mind provoking. The part of levels of psyche was absolutely astonishing and I learnt something new as well so thank you for that.

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  3. Salaam,
    Enjoyed reading this.
    However, I don’t think University of Manchester is all that …
    Off Guardian have written several pieces on the effects of lockdown on society. Eye opening.

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  4. My sister too, has had a hard life.

    Traumatic experiences, even when you are only young, can have a massive impact on your future, even if you repress or forget these memories

    I feel and know you have suffered greatly in your life, due to being one of the most kind of people I have met. Allah tests those with affliction and loss, to see if you will endure, continue, or stray from his path of Islam. Try to protect khadijah, my niece. As this world may have similar tests for her.

    My sister, is very strong willed, and many people tried to break her strength.

    The coronavirus has caused phobia and stigma. Many people have lost loved ones to it, including us. But with loss there comes gain. Most Muslims suffer on earth, as the hearafter is better for us. As we will recline on soft couches drinking pure wine. After every affliction comes ease, as Allah mentions in the Qur’an.

    I too believe that in this mortal world everything begins and ends. Without being taught the criterion of right from wrong, from Allah, we would never believe in an eternal afterlife. This is what makes us more than animals.

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  5. Assalamu alaik brother. As you have recently married my little sister, you are now welcome and apart of our family now, no matter the circumstances.

    Please don’t be afraid to tell me if your problems, don’t hesitate to share your pain with us. As family, and as Muslims, we should all be there for one another. The bear the burden. You don’t need to suffer alone, as we are here for you and your new family.

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