This is ultimately what it is all about. You are likely to recover physically from the virus in a relatively short period of time — but the emotional scars can last a life time: “I feel guilty.” “I feel vulnerable.” “I worry about my future.” “I worry about the health of other family members.” “Will I be able to return to my job soon and will it still be there for me?” “Will other people ever forgive me for ‘spreading the virus’ and will I forgive myself?” “Will I be a ‘pariah” in my work place or community?” We don’t have all the answers to these questions, but we do know that all of these are legitimate questions–and you are not alone in asking them.
In turning to these emotional (health) issues, we strongly suggest that you seek out support from someone who is trained to hold the space (called a therapeutic “container”) for the emotions surrounding these questions. This person could be a friend or colleague at work. It probably should not be a member of your family, for they are likely to have the same questions that you have and the answers are likely to be consequential for everyone in the family.
A better alternative might be your spiritual counsellor (though they might be overwhelmed with requests for support) or a counsellor or therapist who is experienced in dealing with health issues. We would also offer the support of those members of our Global Psychology Task Force who are trained and experienced as health counsellors and coaches.
If you are planning to go it alone, then please find a safe place and time in which to do this important reflection. We would suggest that you find or create what we are calling a sanctuary and have provided a link to an essay one of us has written about the nature and variety of sanctuaries.
With this excursion into the world of Hope (and sanctuary) for those who are confronting the immediacy of the coronavirus, we are now ready to turn to the actions that might be taken by all of us as we face this crisis.
We hope you find the resources we are providing to be helpful to your health, head and heart.