“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.