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  • Writer's pictureGemma

Lockdown down under

Isolation for me has been different than the other committee members, firstly I am an essential worker, but secondly, I am in New Zealand.

I think myself very lucky to be here and to still be able to work! We are now on our third consecutive day of no new COVID-19 cases. Here, we are very fortunate to have had such strong leadership to shut the country down with so little cases and I wholeheartedly believe that has helped us immensely.

Being this far away from home, the UK is never far from my mind and as an ex NHS employee I am still in almost daily contact with colleagues fighting this battle for us. All of the other services keeping the country going deserve masses of respect and a huge shoutout as well, including my old care home who are keeping there residents entertained with TikTocs!

Work has definitely changed during this time and it was difficult to adjust to building a rapport and therapeutic relationship with clients behind a face mask when our non verbals are such a big part of my job. Working in mental health, I have seen first hand how COVID-19 is affecting people’s mental heath. People are scared and anxious, for themselves, friends and family. We are even noticing a difference in our own mental health as staff. It is completely normal to feel strange and anxious as this is such an upheaval in all of our lives and hopefully we will never have to live through something like this again. One of the most important things to take from this is not to be hard on yourself! Your whole life and daily routines and habits have been affected and there is an uncertainty about when life will return to “normal”, but count your blessings and look at it as a learning experience. We are much more resilient than we ever give ourselves credit for.

Stay safe and well. Look after yourselves, your loved ones and your neighbours. Smile at all of the love and kindness that is being shown in a time of darkness!

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