EDITORIAL

21 June 2021 | Opinion

We are not okay. Most of us are struggling. Uncertainty, fear, anxiety and depression have become deeply interwoven into our collective psyche as Namibians amid the deadly third wave.

Each day, we are bombarded with unspeakably tragic news. We lose loved ones. We worry we will be infected, that our loved ones will die.

And, while hugs and intimate touches to soothe and uplift each other have never been needed so much, they are no longer an option.

Another loss among so many others.

Experts warn that the psychological impact of the pandemic, especially the third wave that is robbing us of friends, family and colleagues, is being grossly underestimated and neglected.

They warn that the emotional scars will take hold and cling to us as a nation long after we have buried the last of the dead – unless we acknowledge the tragedy unfolding within and among us.

We need to normalise the fact that we are engulfed in collective grief, a complex cycle of devastating emotions.

We need to normalise that we are not okay. We need to realise that everyone is struggling right now.

The world is not geared for the emotional impact the pandemic has unleashed. Yet we need to find ways to address this reality, unless we want to deal with the scars long after the worst has subsided.

The new normal consists of crushed lives, grieving families, a storm of endless fear and grief.

Right now we are scurrying to address the real problems on the ground; the lack of ICU beds, oxygen, morgue space.

This very reality should give rise to a breaking of the taboo on talking about mental health. Acknowledging this collective tragedy.

We will never return to a pre-Covid normal. We have lost too much.

So, let’s talk about our mental health. Let’s reach out, be kind and understanding and stand together collectively to weather this storm of all storms.

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