December 15, 2020

The Effects of Coronavirus on Our Family – By Penny

Update on the effects of Coronavirus. Second Letter written by Mum, Penny - November 2020.

We knew things were difficult in September but October was to be much more difficult! To us the daughter we know and love has not been there for several months and October seemed the worst!

She spent most of her time in her room, just coming out for meals then rushing back. If we went to ask her to come out or just try to talk to her she would say “go away” and shut the door on us. This might sound normal but it is not for our daughter! She spent most of the time staring at the wall, she didn’t seem to have the energy or will to do anything, again this is not like her. Sleeping seems to be something that she doesn’t need to do at the moment!

Looking at photos that we have taken over the last months she looks unhappy in her eyes even if she is smiling! We have tried all sorts of activities and all the things she used to enjoy to no avail, the sadness is deep seated within her and she has become very difficult to reach. Then the day before the second lockdown she slowly started to come back it was as if her mind was slowly being unlocked. Over several days, she started to talk to us and best of all started to smile and laugh again, very slowly, then she seemed to be her “normal” self. For a whole day she did the things she has always done at home, paint, colour, look at her books, watch videos and listen to her CDs. She has always multi tasked, i.e. colour in a picture whilst watching a DVD and listening to a CD. She has always been happiest when doing 2 or 3 things at once.

To see her smile and her joy of life return was wonderful. Sadly it was short lived the following day she started to return to the sad person she has become! It has got to the stage now that she is not just mentally sad but she is becoming physically “sad”, if that is possible!

With the second lockdown she is still able to go to day services, for the moment, even they have noticed a change in her behaviour, a slowing down of her body and mind.

Obviously if things change or a local outbreak occurs then day services would have to stop, I really don’t know how she would cope with being completely shut in again.

Ever since March, the first lockdown, we have taken our daughter out for a walk every morning. We have constantly tried to occupy her and engage with her but she needs and misses the other people that she used to see and do activities with, we can’t fill that void!

It will take months, probably years for her mental state to recover, if ever. She has almost been in a catatonic state, like a period of deep mourning, for the life she used to have! Recovery, when it does come, will be long and slow because her life is far from back to normal, as with everyone.

This will be something that will haunt her for the rest of her life!

Note: All names and identifying information have been changed in this blogpost

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