January 18, 2022

“It’s Exhausting to Feel so Afraid”—how Covid-19 is still Triggering Us.

As the next wave of COVID-19 has hit most parts of the world, the conversations around the pandemic have become more and more candid.

I’m also seeing incessant news notifications and posts across social media.

The pandemic—and its dominance in daily conversation—is an underlying trigger for me and for many others, I believe.

Although discussions around Covid and its many variants have become commonplace, and don’t always demand as much overt emotion as in the beginning, in some ways, how and how often we talk about it has become numbing.

Recently, when talking with two of my friends, I realised how helpful it would be to have a Covid support group.

To be able to just speak our minds about this pandemic without feeling guilt or shame.

To be able to share that even if we are not infected, our lives have been stalled and our dreams have been shattered.

To be able to acknowledge that even if we have recovered or haven’t lost anyone to this disease, it is absolutely alright to move through this traumatic experience at our own pace.

To be able to recognize that if we have lost someone, it is immensely acceptable to feel all that we feel—to shout, to cry, or to just break.

Speaking for myself, Covid is pretty much a daily part of my life now, not just as a citizen of the world but as an individual who had the infection a few months back and still is reeling from its aftereffects, which have altered quite a bit in my life.

The horrors of that experience, along with both myself and my husband needing to be hospitalized, is something I’ve long repressed and kept to myself. These helpless moments of my life don’t really deserve to be relived, and my body rejects the thought of even wanting to share them.

But in a sense, these moments are still a part of me. My fear is now 100 times higher than before, and the anxiety after each innocent cough or sneeze starts ringing the bells of emergency in my mind, making me want to retreat as far into a bubble as I can.

It’s exhausting to feel so afraid.

A quote keeps coming back to me from an interview with a Covid survivor: “You get your life back if you are lucky, but do you really get it back?”

I have loved ones who are far away from me, and I often find myself hoping each new wave leaves them unharmed. The constant hoping and praying to be spared is probably the highlight of my days now.

I empathize with friends and family who have been saved from the clutches of Covid, having been in their shoes earlier. I understand the confusion that comes with being careful all the time but also not wanting to feel so isolated. I understand the fear of unknown pain.

Some have lost their family and friends, and I wonder how they live in a world that constantly reminds them of the tragedy they went through—how they find strength in the face of such sadness.

The truth is we all have triggers around the pandemic.

It seems that there is no expiration date in sight to this global misery, and we have to accept—truly accept—the alterations to our lives.

I know that I have so much to be grateful for, sitting in my warm bed next to my husband writing this article, not currently worrying about anyone I love being in a health crisis.

The days I get overwhelmed, this helps me; knowing what I have is fuel enough to go on. Knowing that however life has changed, it should be a reason to make life more hopeful, to keep fighting.

So, to anyone who feels triggered by the constant discussions around Covid, who might feel triggered by reading this, know that I wish you well and I wish you healing. I hope that one day we can wake up to a Covid-free world and move on from its horrors.


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