I’ve also really suffered from the loss of relationship and connectiveness with the long covid and the pandemic. All the days of let’s-meet-for-coffees are long gone. I just don’t have the extra energy. Even when I try, I often ended up cancelling, and well, people just stop inviting you after a while.
My smartphone has helped me a lot to stay connected. There were the WhatsApp groups and the weekly zoom calls with my sister back home. Whether it is due to my lack of energy or when it was simply unsafe to go outside as a vulnerable person during COVID, my smartphone has been especially meaningful to me when I can only stay at home. For examples, one of my best friends is in Scotland. We are far closer now compared to how we would have been in the days when we occasionally see each other in meetings in London. Amid the interplay of stress, it means a lot to have a friend whom you can just text them, “I’ve had a horrible day”.
What I want to say is that I’m a patient for a lot of things. I have mental and physical illnesses and disabilities. We need to value people and see each person’s individual needs. That is why thinking about our own mental health is very important. I’ve realized that even more lately, with the stress of the organization not understanding what I’m doing, my health, and the work. In the last few years, the NHS has become more and more managerial, to the point that it sometimes makes me feel unvalued. It’s all very distressing. I feel like the NHS didn’t get it right, especially during the pandemic. In the modern NHS, there’s a risk that the human aspect of healthcare is going to be lost. But we should always remember to look after our mental health, and value ourselves.