Boris Johnson wasn’t lying at this week’s Conservative party conference when he said he’d “had enough” of Covid-19. You and me both, prime minister.
The coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of ending soon. The knowledge that a second national lockdown is likely, that social distancing and masks may be our reality for months to come, and that Covid-19 cases continue to climb, (even as the race for a vaccine quickens pace), can feel pretty overwhelming.
As one Twitter user wrote: “I’ve always *intellectually* known that the pandemic and the restrictions were going to go on for a long time, but I think it’s only this last week that it’s sunken in as a reality. I seem to be back to the lockdown listlessness and occasional panic of March/April.”
It was April when we first asked HuffPost readers the question: how are you feeling? We wanted to know how the country was experiencing this crisis, the different stages of emotion, reaction and resilience to the pandemic. As HuffPost UK editor in chief, Jess Brammar, wrote at the time: “They will tell us a story just as important as the statistics and political rhetoric.”
And you told us – in your hundreds – sharing your honest emotions that ranged from apathy to anger, and which varied day to day, week to week.
Thank you to everyone who got in touch. Prompted by your responses, we’ve spoken to experts in fields from grief and anxiety, to work and financial wellbeing, seeking advice on dealing with the ongoing mental and physical toil of the pandemic – and we continue to do so, gathering those resources here.
Now, ahead of World Mental Health Day on October 10, we’re once again inviting readers to use this Google form to share how you are feeling.
When we first asked the question, we were six weeks into lockdown. Now, six months on and with tightened restrictions looming, some people are experiencing a strong sense of déjà vu. For many more, the precarity of work, finances, family or home life is having a serious impact on mental health – if you’re in this situation, you can find further resources and support below.
After a spring cooped up at home, “social bubbles” and summer’s lockdown easing offered some respite – even as the vulnerable continued to shield. Then came local lockdowns, the return to school and university, and the new rule of six. Now we’re in autumn and facing down the long winter. Lockdown fatigue, both emotional and – in the case of long Covid – physical, is rife.
It’s a lot, which is why you can update us regularly or send a one-off message – whatever you feel comfortable sharing. We know the mental health toil is more serious for some than others. Good and bad days take us all by surprise.
So, tell us, how are you feeling?
Useful websites and helplines
Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.
Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).