When is the right time to ease lockdown?
It’s a big question. When is the right time to ease lockdown? The number of reported deaths from COVID-19 remains high, and many people feel it is too soon.
Others are eager to get back to work and see some of their friends and family. Opinions are split, and feeling is strong.
Many people feel angry.
I’ve heard from lots of people who feel furious with the government for letting it get this far. They see that there has been a catalogue of errors, which if avoided, could have saved lives. They may be right.
Others think that the government has done it’s best and trust that they will make decisions for the benefit of the country. Whether these differences of opinion run along political divides, I don’t know. However, this division had existed since before the crisis began, and it seems logical that it will continue.
Justifiably, people are angry. If you see injustice and pain, then it follows that is what you would feel. Anger can be a powerful force for good because it can drive forward cultures to greater equality. Votes for the working classes, women, and the civil rights movement in the US were born out of anger. Without it, where would we be now?
The flip side is that anger can cause misdirection. Psychologists talk about how rage is often a secondary emotion to other distress. There are other emotions that you feel first, and anger can function to cut you off.
Unanswered Questions about Coronavirus
There are many unanswered questions. The real infection rate isn’t precise, and while millions of people suspect they may have had coronavirus, no one can be certain. Reliable statistics of this kind would give us the information we crave. It would help us to answer the big question of the moment; when should we begin to ease lockdown?
Deep down, I am scared. I am afraid of what the future holds. Being in lockdown for too long will cause many deaths as well as economic hardship. Many more will die because of undetected cancer, heart disease, suicide and domestic murder. End lockdown now, and we risk a substantial spike in hospitalisation and fatality.
I wish the decision of when to end lockdown were an easy one. I don’t believe it is. Some people see it as a values judgement – saving lives v prosperity. However, it is not that simple, and people will die either way.
Beware of operating from fear.
To say these words increases my fear, and it is the reality nonetheless. I might try to push it away through anger, and while justified that may be, it can send me off for miles in the wrong direction. Equally, I may cut-off from my fear and say what will be, will be. From there, I run the risk of getting complacent and doing more harm than good.
When we operate from fear, we often make unwise decisions. Some fear-based reactions are apparent – for example, hoarding goods and checking the news multiple times throughout the day. Other behaviours like blaming the government and criticising others who bend the rules more than you may also do more harm than good.
How to Find Calm and Kindness
Whatever your thoughts and feelings about the current situation, you best serve your loved ones through calm and kindness. Try these steps:
- Find ways to express your fear as well as your anger.
- Describe what it feels like in your body and notice what goes through your mind.
- Then, put down these thoughts.
- Lay them down and turn your energy towards the people that matter the most.
- Who is most important to you, and what do they need from you right now?
Whatever happens over the coming days, weeks and months, it will continue to scare us. Take it slow and move through each day one at a time. Save your energy for your wellbeing and be patient and kind with other people, even when you don’t feel like it. You are doing your best, and that is no small achievement.
Here are a few helpful resources to digest when you have the time. Enjoy this week’s round-up of ideas from around the world to help you work, love, play and feel better.
The Openforwards Weekly Round-Up
- The Marginal Gains Handbook – Practical Ideas to survive and thrive in the age of coronavirus by Rob Archer and Alex Jamieson.
- The Comeback – Birmingham-based short film showing the immense heart and spirit of our independent businesses
- Helping your child sleep well during this difficult time – Article by Pediatric Sleep Psychologist, Lynelle Schneeberg
- I’m absolutely sick of video chats. Am I a bad person for not missing my friends during lockdown? Article in Vice Magazine Italy by Vincenzo Ligestri
- How can we avoid burnout during lockdown? Article by Krissy Regan, founder of Mindful Mums Queensland.