Living with grief amidst the anxiety of the COVID-19 lockdown

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On May 6, 2020 my father passed away from a mild heart attack in Bangladesh while I remained stuck at Durham University, nestled thousands of miles away in a small historical mining town in Northern UK. I never had a chance to say good-bye to him. This unpredictable and deathly COVID-19 has changed lives for people across the world in many different ways. It has changed mine too. I will never see my father again. It has also opened up a painful episode of dealing with the grief that could not be any more difficult – alone and mostly confined in the limited space of my accommodation due to the university lockdown.

During this time of unprecedented uncertainty and anxiety all over the world, my grief reminds me that life is about nurturing our relationships with our loved ones that are often filled with love and affection, endurance and empathy, mistakes and misunderstanding. We may not always try to weave through the stiches that bind us together with our loved ones while they are alive. Yet, through our losses we may have the ability to gain what we have lost by learning and understanding about their lives that we did not know before.

Sameet Kumar’s moving book about grief has told us it is a journey that seeks to understand not just the loss of someone we care about but also about finding the meaning of that loss through a range of emotional discoveries. This includes, for example, confronting our pain so that we can be able to grasp the meaning of pain as an ‘extension of love’.  Alone, from the small confines of my living in a foreign country, I try to understand my relationship with my father. I have lived abroad from a very young age. As I grew older, time and space put us farther apart, creating a divide between what we knew of each other. Yet, it was his effort that tried to bridge the gap between us. But I am not sure if I was mindful of that while he lived. I could never match his wisdom, knowledge, and humility. So, I recall his life, in pieces, to understand him.

I recall my father’s life, in pieces, to understand him.

My father had surgery last year and since then he remained weak but not necessarily fragile. He has been taking care of my ailing mother and the daily nuances of everyday lives in Dhaka – paying bills and salaries to our homecarers, managing monthly groceries, my mother’s medical bills, including his own, and others – while my sibling and I remained abroad. In a Bengali culture, children take care of their elderly parents. Yet, both my parents remained alone without the everyday presence of their children. But my father did not complain nor did he have any regrets. He actually rejoiced at whatever fate offered him. He was proud of his children.

Being alone makes this loss even more difficult to cope with. I am struggling to come to terms with his death during the lockdown period in Dhaka that prevented a proper funeral for him. The dead need to be buried promptly in Bangladesh without the usual rituals because of the lockdown and the social distancing rules. But strangely, my father had always wanted a discreet burial.

During this period of grief, however, I do feel the presence of others. The mental wellbeing initiative of the university has been very kind and generous, offering counseling, mentoring, virtual meetings, and other efforts to help students cope with the COVID-19 lockdown. And in my case, I feel fortunate to have been surrounded by many well-wishers to help me through the grief on top of the ongoing anxieties of the lockdown.

I feel fortunate to have been surrounded by many well-wishers to help me through the grief on top of the ongoing anxieties of the lockdown.

I have had words of condolences, wisdom, and encouragement from the likes of my supervisors, faculty members, staff, friends, and colleagues, which have given me strength to celebrate my father’s life and spirit to struggle with his voices that echo everyday within the limited confines of my university accommodation. My father’s loss has opened a new chapter in my life. I just hope this will show me how to live without him.

Image: Andreas Lischka via Pixabay

One thought on “Living with grief amidst the anxiety of the COVID-19 lockdown

  • People are not understanding the COVID paradox in the US and the world

    In the USA,the exposed cases are at least 20 times the number of the current detected cases,of 3.5 million,AND THE ACTUAL INFECTED CASES ARE AT LEAST,1O TIMES the current detected cases.

    The current daily count in the USA is around 70000 and was around 25-30,000,a fortnught ago.These incremental 35000 were EXPOSED around 27 days ago (at the earliest) and were INFECTED ENOUGH,to take a TEST.

    Therefore,it is safe to assume that for every 70000 cases today there are at least 70000 more INFECTED BUT NOT WITH SUFFICIENT SYMPTOMS TODAY plus some more WHO DO NOT WANT TO GET TESTED AT ALL.

    Further,for every 1 COVID positive person WITH SYMPTOMS – it is safe to assume an EXPOSURE RATIO OF 10:1 IN A SPAM OF 30 DAYS – starting from the time when the COVID +ve person was 1st EXPOSED.

    So for the 70000 cases today, there are AT LEAST 70000 more COVID positive person (based on 1 day’s data),which makes it 140000.These people have exposed at least 1.4 million in the last 30 days !

    So,if you look at the number of cases in the USA in the last 30 days at 30000 a day,so you have a ROLLING stock of 6 million EXPOSURES just in 30 days – who will show symptoms in the next 7-30 days,and so the numbers will skyrocket.

    Based on a population of 350 million – IT IS ONLY WHEN THE USA has 17-20 million DETECTED CASES – that the COVID saga will end.There WILL be NO CURE,AND NO VACCINE – just trial and error diagnostics.

    So we are a long way away.dindooohindoo

    30 days ago,the USA COVID cases were around 1.5 million and so the EXPOSURES were at 30 million.From that 30 million – in the last 30 days – the USA has had around 35000 cases per day,in the last 30 days – which is around 3% of the EXPOSURES,as of 30 days ago.

    The Rolling stock as above,WILL DOUBLE IN A MINIMUM OF 30 DAYS and the 3% will also DOUBLE IN EVERY 60 DAYS
    at the minimum.These are the coordinates of doom.

    There is NO STATISTIC on 1 PARAMETER.How many COVID discharged humans in the USA were re-infected,and in what
    duration ? That is the ONLY HOPE – id.est., to be infected and survive.Can it REALLY BE ZERO ? Or does it show THAT releasing a COVID cured patient into the jungle – is the biggest disaster – a ticking neutron bomb ?

    USA numbers look devastating,as they have the infra,to test on that scale.The situation in other parts of the world is BEYOND redemption.

    Even in the USA,the sharp rise in Cases,is NOT DUE to the re-opening of businesses – BIT DUE TO LACK OF TESTING.It is the people who WERE NOT TESTED,in the last 30 days,AND HAD synptoms – which is reflecting in the current data,of 70000 a day.

    You can imagine the CATASTROPHIC DOOM,in Brazil and India – where THEY WILL NEVER be able to test,on the American scale.

    In essence,the entire population of 7 billion,HAS TO BE infected,and at least 10%,will die due to COVID,and 10% more will die,due to other morbidities,which will have no medical attention and another 10%,will die due to starvation.

    The persons who will die,are those,with a weak and infirm constitution,and low natural immunity – and whose body,is already damaged by medicines,steroids,nicotine,cocaine,adulterated food and alcohol.

    A Perfect Constitution,is an essential,for a Perfect Brain

    This is the Greek Formula,updated for AI + Robotics + Nanotech

    The Greeks used to discard their defective samples,at BIRTH,on Mt Olmypus,for the ravens and vultures.That was he Priori Best Practice.2000 years since then, AI + Robotics + Nanotech, has made Humans obsolete.

    Thence,comes in COVID – just like Pure Providence.After the 10+10+10% culling – we will get the NEXT virus – which will be in action,by November 2021.That virus will target,in Phase 1,the clowns CURED BY COVID – as the COVID bird has laid its nest in them.Then it will target those who were infected by COVID but did not show the symptoms.

    Like a never ending Geometric Progression – towards redemption and salvation,like Zeno’s Paradox.

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