Self-reflection and Coronavirus | Pacific Well-Being Coquitlam

Self-reflection and Coronavirus

self-reflection coronavirus
Who knew pancake mix would disappear so quickly? [Photo: Author]

Coronavirus. COVID-19.

It’s changing everything we do in 2020.

This is just the first article in a series I’ll share over the coming days, with different foci, but all pertaining to the coronavirus.

I have had opinions, thoughts, and feelings that I’ve wanted to share for days, but I’ve held back for a few reasons. The main one being that I was afraid of ranting without being rational.


Any good therapist worth their salt should analyze and take stock of their own responses to events before attempting to counsel others about them, so as to not be biased. It’s a technique practiced by ethical counsellors, therapists, researchers, healthcare providers, the list goes on. Heck, we should all do it. We explore, identify, acknowledge, and consider our own thoughts and biases on an issue, whether we journal it and make a note – as is often done (and referred to as reflective journaling) in qualitative research studies, internally through our own daily meditation practices, or with another therapist. It allows us to put our own experiences aside to better treat or help others, to meet them on their level, where they’re at, accepting them fully for who they are.

As such, I feel compelled to acknowledge a few things about the coronavirus situation.

  1. I am not afraid of getting it. Not one iota.
  2. I am afraid of certain people I know acquiring it. That’s a point I’ll address in another post.
  3. We will all contract coronavirus at some point. I’ve worked in public health. I’ve taught and conducted epidemiological studies. But I’ll likely discuss infectious disease in another post.
  4. As a nurse and a counsellor, I completely understand why people are reacting the way they are (for better or worse).
  5. As an ex-ICU nurse, certain public responses to the outbreak in the last few weeks have made me irate. Especially the couple in BC reselling the Lysol Wipes for an enormous profit. (Thankfully, Amazon has since blocked them and thousands of others.)

I had to see this debacle for myself.

My daughter and I went on an excursion of what we called “the public shaming shopping tour” wherein we did not buy a single thing but rather went to a number of stores to witness firsthand the rampant and unnecessary hoarding and to see if anyone needed help. (Note: We did not actually publicly shame anyone, but I would have said something if I saw someone greedily hoarding for obvious resale.)

cleaning products coronavirus panic
Empty cleaning product shelf. [Photo: Author]

I am appalled at the hoarding to resell. Savvy yet ethical business decisions are NOT made at the expense of other people’s health. What these self-described “hustlers” failed to see or understand, or register on even a level of basic human compassion, is that they are placing other people’s lives in serious jeopardy. Not directly, no, but indirectly, certainly.

The fallout of hoarding

Although hoarding bread and toilet paper is unnecessary, what really makes me angry is the Lysol wipes, soap, antibacterial solutions, and masks. Especially to be sold for profit.

One could anticipate their response that ‘someone else would have done it’ even if they hadn’t. To which I counter: No, not necessarily. Believe in the good in other people. Not that someone else would have been as opportunistic. There are a lot of good people in the world and I want to believe in them.

Plus, think about the trickle-down effect – someone sees them succeeding and profiting and chooses to do the same thing. Now there’s even less in stock.

When the young mom undergoing chemotherapy has no hand-sanitizer to wipe her children’s perpetually dirty hands, she can’t protect herself. She could end up with community-acquired pneumonia secondary to coronavirus and leave her children without a mother.

What about the parents of the young one at home with a primary immunodeficiency disorder? From birth, their parents have had to keep their homes and themselves as germ-free as possible so as to not infect these children that cannot fight off infections. These kids who develop severe eczema and severe skin infections, among other complications. Now the parents have no masks to wear if they have a cough and no Lysol wipes to keep the house clean.

The seniors and the people living with HIV. 

People with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, diabetes, Crohn’s, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus.

And I’ve barely scratched the surface.

These are the people who need the supplies. Not the money-hungry, greedy “hustlers.”

These are the people who could end up in ICU. And that’s the biggest aggravating factor for me about the current situation. 

There are so many layers there for me to unpack that this will take a series of posts.

The take-home for today is that when people don’t care about others, we all hurt as a society.

In my next post, I’ll talk more about how working in ICU affects me today while the coronavirus is spreading.

If you need to talk to me about your anxieties about coronavirus, call now.

Self-reflection and Coronavirus
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