Sunél’s Blog | Can this please end, or maybe not?

Sunél Veldtman, | 17 September 2021

We have had enough. Enough of masks and social distancing. Enough of worrying about every sneeze being COVID. Enough of isolation. Enough of sickness. Enough of death. Enough of the disagreements and distance that COVID has highlighted. Enough of financial struggles. Enough.

Nearly every person I’ve encountered recently is at their wits end. It’s been too much. We’re collectively hanging in there. Dealing with normal challenges (am I imagining that those have also escalated?) and a pandemic that’s dragged on for too long, has worn our resistance and resources threadbare. We’re barely surviving. Deeply depressed. We’ve had enough.

We want this to be over. We want to get on with our lives. And yet, it seems, we’re far from it.

Vaccination resistance, a fourth wave, breakthrough COVID strains are all looming.

And although we want it to end, we may be ambivalent about the new world waiting for us. We worry about the new beginning. We don’t want to lose what we have gained through the pain of COVID. We have spent more time in our homes, with our partners and children. We have wasted less time in traffic or travelling. We realise how important connection and community is. We have a new appreciation for nature, and for life itself. We have changed. Our desires are different too.

But maybe we don’t have to choose.  It can be both. Enough. And what’s next. This is a really good time to remember how we’re feeling, to consider what we’ve gained and what we have lost, so that we can make the changes for our lives ahead.

I’ve been reaching out. Deliberately diarising meeting people again. When we feel so exhausted and that we’ve had enough, there is the temptation to turn inward for answers. We feel less inclined to venture out. But it’s exactly what we need to do now. Reach out. We must talk about our stories. Share our grief and exhaustion. Collectively explore our options of being and living, working and earning. The mere act of sharing our experiences and looking forward together helps to calm the physiological shock of our collective traumatic experience over the last year. Reaching out has reminded me how much connection and talking helps us work through our stories and our ideas. How good connection is.  Perhaps I can nudge you to do the same.

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