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When it’s OK not to be OK with this virus

Danielle MacInnes

We are nearly 5 weeks into COVID-19 self-isolation / lockdown in my house and mercifully my daughter’s cough has finally got better. My children have been fighting though.


Then this morning my five year old came in from being outside and said to me, “Mummy we’re playing a game where our mummy and daddy have died and even though I’m the youngest I’m looking after everyone. You and daddy were got by the lava and we weren’t.”


“Where’s the lava?” I replied.


“The lava is the grass”, she said. Then she ran back outside, happy to return to the game.


This broke me.


Facing the fear and grief


It took me right back to being that young child who secretly fears that both your parents will die and you’ll be left all alone in the big wide world. How had I not realised just how scared they must be?


It was just what I needed today to feel my own fear and grief and let it be for a little while. Because if we’re really honest, who of us isn’t feeling it right now and having moments of fear about who might die? And about when this will all end?


I live in the city and hear the ambulances a lot. I’m not OK with how frequent they are.


It’s OK not to be OK


It’s OK not to be OK with tens of thousands of people losing their lives to this virus. Not to be OK with many more losing their jobs. Not to be OK that many frontline workers are not receiving the protective equipment they need.


Not to be OK with losing your job, not knowing how you’ll pay your mortgage or rent and put food on the table. Not be OK with not being able to seeing your loved ones.


It’s OK not to be OK with being alone. Or with being cooped up with the same people 24/7.


It’s OK not to be OK with constantly being told to start a new on-line business, use all this ‘spare time’ you have, learn a new skill, become a super-crafty parent, get creative or whatever is the latest thing. It’s OK not to want to do PE with Joe today.


It’s OK to be angry that you can only go out once today or that your only trip out is trailing after a young child. It’s OK to be tired of comparing yourself with those who are “doing more, being more, smashing it..”


Reach out for support


And it’s OK to reach out for support too. Even if you’re not a frontline worker for the NHS.


Even if you’re ‘just’ an ordinary person trying to work out how on earth to readjust to this new ‘normal’. How to fit in a full time job and look after or home school your children.


You matter too. Your fears, thoughts, feelings, dreams, hopes matter. I want to encourage you to offer yourself some self-compassion and time to be.


If you would like to be listened to, I’m offering a free 40minute listening session to anyone that would like it, on a first-come, first served basis. Not counselling or therapy, just a listening ear for 40mins.


If this is something you’d like, please get in touch either by using the contact form at the bottom of my home page here, or schedule directly with me here.


And if you are a critical worker, you can also access the free support scheme being coordinated by the UK Health Coaches Association here.  Please pass this on to anyone you know who might benefit.


If you’re not sure about 121 support but would feel more comfortable in a small group, some amazing colleagues have set up Health Coaches Without Borders to offer free health coaching to anyone. Registration for the first cohort closes on 22nd April, so get in quickly on this one!


You are not alone. We are in this together.