At the MHPN, we want to put together a collection of your experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are looking for our members to contribute by sharing their experiences during lockdown OR challenges due to COVID-19 on the following topics:
professional OR personal challenges
things you have learnt about your work OR yourself
things you have missed the most
In order to set the scene, 2 of our committee members have kindly agreed to start this series of posts with their own thoughts and insights.
A letter to my friends
A hug is something that you do without thinking, a kiss on the cheek or a handshake. I don’t miss the commutes or the xx. It is time spent with my friends. I miss our time drinking in the pub over the latest dating fiasco or how we had massive imposter syndrome. I didn’t realise how important human touch was until I was without it. At first speaking over the phone, playing online games and setting challenges was novel, exciting. However, as time has gone on I realise that the motivation to talk is dwindling. What do you talk about when you’re stuck in Groundhog day? I long for the day when I can go grab a coffee with my friends and reach through the screen to hold them again. With so much time on our hands it has also made our worlds smaller. With more expectation now than ever. Pressures of uncertainty surrounding adulthood. There will not be another time like this so you must conquer the world. Read that book, learn that yoga pose, start that small business. But wait, sit still and be calm for there will not be a time like this.
I got a birthday present from my friend in Denmark today. A beautifully coloured box with unicorns and rainbows and streamers and in it lay some Danish chocolate and a knitted figure. It made me so happy that my friend had taken the time to create and build a box just for me. For it to travel where I could not.
Isolation has taught me to hug and cherish time with people more than ever. I’ve been able to reset my priorities.
To my friends, we’ll meet again.
She left in a camper van
by Caity Roleston
She left in a camper van on a sunny afternoon in March.
We lined up to bid her farewell,
Whispering our final words as she passed.
I hummed with uncertainty, now the familiar had become strange.
Every conversation tinged with unease,
Clinging to the husks of ritual.
Without thinking, I held her brother’s hand and kissed his cheek.
A source of comfort and connection,
Now shrouded in panic and contagion.
We waited outside as the preselected five accompanied her into the chapel.
At a distance, we crept as close as we could.
Straining our ears to hear
Her eulogy float past on the breeze.
Yet, there was a strange comfort in the distraction of being on the outside.
I felt bitter with grief as tears rolled fiercely down my cheeks,
Only to be dried quickly by the wind.
I watched a child marvel at plants and creepy crawlies,
I listened to the chirruping of birds,
And the drone of nearby cars.
I was comforted by the smell of freshly cut grass and the sun’s warmth on my face,
As I leaned into my partner’s arms.
Our personal grief has been altered; superseded by global loss.
I accept this is the way it had to be,
And I was grateful to be there.
She died before this pandemic,
But she is one of its casualties.
We all are.
You can share your experiences in many different formats including:
a short paragraph
a list of your Top 5/10 experiences
a longer blog post of your experiences (up to 1500 words).