Gaye Gould

In my therapy practice I have been known to say countless times that crisis brings change and you can’t have a crisis without a change. Sometimes it is a change for the positive, and sometimes the negative, but it is definitely change.

We are not talking here about changing ones’ socks because they smell, or a roll of toilet paper, although currently to find one might be a bit of a struggle, nope, we are talking huge changes that are coming fast and furious, because of the Covid 19 crisis. The world will likely never be the same again and parts of this reality will be a good thing.

Please don’t misinterpret that I think death and destruction and de-stabilizing the world economy are good. They aren’t. But a good thing in terms of the planet needing a re-set button pushed, and this just might do it. 

My favourite Horstman T-bar, high in the mountains at Whistler-Blackcomb, B.C. continues to be closed, because the glacier beneath it is melting at a remarkable rate, and I can’t ski on it anymore.  I worry regularly about climate change and the destruction of the planet, and it brings to mind the bible stories of my youth, when I was dragged kicking and screaming to Sunday church school.

 As an aside, my inability to sit quietly and behave like a proper little girl, with her hands clasped daintily in front of her, for everyone to see that they weren’t getting into the ‘Devil’s work’, was pretty much impossible. Turns out years later, when I diagnosed myself with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), it brought those awful Sunday’s into perspective, and I felt rather justified in my not so sweet behaviour on Sunday mornings! 

What I vaguely remember about those bible stories was talk of floods, fires, plagues of locusts, hell and damnation for reasons that had something do with God being furious at how we were behaving. I remember feeling very distressed and anxious that all hell was going to break loose, and there was really nothing I could do to prevent it.

Today, forest fires, floods, polar ice cap melting, earthquakes, plagues of locusts, and on and on it goes, are all messages indicating we have not been good stewards of this beautiful place we are lucky to call home. Apparently, since we haven’t listened collectively and worked collaboratively, my science brain says that Mother Nature is really, really pissed, and has sent us  a contagion, which has taken the control we think we had over the world and ourselves from us, and apparently sent the stock prices in toilet paper and Clorox bleach, soaring!

The Covid 19 pandemic is making me remember being on a volunteer medical mission for Sunshine Dreams for Kids, taking a plane load of children with physical disabilities and some with life-threatening illness, to Walt Disney World for a lovely day away. At one point in the trip when it turns out retrospectively that we were five minutes above and ahead of the second plane slamming into the Pentagon, I looked back and noticed two flight attendants seemingly quite upset and crying. Always curious and nosy I got up and asked what was wrong, and was there anything I could do to help. They said that they weren’t allowed to tell me yet, but stated that when I heard what had happened it would bring me to my knees.  Turns out that day September 11, 2001 and the days following changed my life forever. There is a story about that in my soon to be published book.

I think this Covid 19 crisis is going to change me again, along with many of us on the planet.  I think that we will get through it and be better for it, but it is going to require a lot of cooperation and willingness to do our part to help stop the spread and be able to handle the huge changes in our lives.

My next blog will outline some tips to help manage anxiety and the sense of not being in control, because of the current crisis and tips to help manage anxiety in general.

Categories: Coronavirus

1 Comment

Linda Henshaw · 2 April 2020 at 17 h 35 min

There is an interesting article first published in the New York Times in January of 1972 . It’s called”The Winter of Man” by Loren Eiseley and deals with some similar topics. One of his early lines that haunts me is a shaman’s response to Knud Rasmussen 50 years before Eiseley’s essay where he says, “We fear the cold and the things we do not understand. But most of all we fear the doings of the heedless ones among ourselves.” He goes on much later to comment on how the things we now fear are the things humans have created – technological advances, introducing new species to areas that are later destroyed etc. We can’t control what we have created. It is time for a reset of some kind and you are clearly on to something when you use this phrase. Something that worries me is how we will respond to the reset, the changed world AC (after Covid 19). I’m not sure we responded for the better after 9/11. In fact, I know we didn’t. As you stated, this should be our time to heed the lessons from the latest pandemic and, I think it shows great optimism that you feel we are capable of this collaboration, care and willingness to learn and change. I think some of us might learn not to take our world for granted. It would be nice to think so. It would also be great if people could continue being kinder to strangers, being more friendly, trying to see where help is needed and providing that help without being asked or paid, slowing down, taking time to chat with and thank those individuals who provide “essential” services and are also paid less than many of us. I fear if we do not make use of this opportunity we may totally destroy our world. Fear is a huge motivator for change as a wise woman I know suggested.

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