By the time this summer issue reaches you, it is hoped that most of the coronavirus restrictions we are currently living under in the UK will have finally lifted. The vaccine rollout continues apace, which is cause for optimism and celebration. However, at the time of writing, cases of the virus are slowly on the rise again, due to the Delta (formerly known as the Indian) variant. There’s a cloud of uncertainty over the whole proceedings, which is leaving many of us feeling unsettled.
Most of the media noise seems to be around whether or not we can have a holiday abroad this summer, without having to quarantine upon our return – however, the impact of this ongoing uncertainty is far-reaching and extends way beyond holidays. Those working in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors are left not knowing how to respond or prepare, while the arts, events and entertainment industries face further delays to their recovery. Trips abroad are not confined to holidays – for those of us who have family living overseas, there hangs a huge question mark over whether we will see each other at all for a second year. The seemingly endless grind is taking its toll across the population, and I’m seeing this reflected in the way my clients respond – with an increase in last-minute cancellations, no-shows or, conversely, greater demand for appointments, as clients seek some form of stability in the midst of chaos, insecurity and ambiguity.
The way we live and work is under review, and many of us, while appreciating the convenience and accessibility of online video-conferencing such as Zoom, are experiencing ‘screen fatigue’ and seeking ways to decompress – to expand into our bodies and reconnect with the physical, natural world. Many of us have been deprived of meaningful touch for over a year, and ‘skin hunger’ is a painful reality. At the same time, the disruption to our daily lives has provoked a period of reflection and reckoning, and a revision of our priorities – this is particularly the case for those of us whose health has suffered, either directly or indirectly, as a result of the virus. Any period of revision and recovery will inevitably involve an element of emotional turbulence. Walking past a packed beer garden on the second May bank holiday recently (the one where summer finally got the memo), I felt an unnerving blend of envy and anxiety squirming in the pit of my stomach – longing and revulsion together battling for dominance. For how long, I wonder, will such feelings remain? Am I alone in such feelings? Is this my ‘new normal’?
I’m curious to know what you are noticing – in your life and in your practice – as we continue to navigate the continued uncertainty, and any long-term changes you have made, are making, or plan to make, as a consequence of the pandemic. I’ll publish a selection of your responses in a future issue.
In the more immediate term, the SCoPEd team are currently working on the draft framework and are keen to incorporate your questions in a special feature in our next issue. Please get in touch with your questions and I will send these on to the team.
In the meantime, whether you are holidaying in Portugal, Prestatyn or your back patio, have a restful, refreshing and relaxing summer, and stay well. Until next time…
Diane Parker firstname.lastname@example.org