Monday, February 1, 2021

Hope for COVID Long Haulers ...


No winter lasts forever,

no spring skips its return. 

Hal Borman 



Hello, Everyone,

A belated Happy New Year to you all! 

A new year always fills me with hope, even in these grim and trying times. (When I say hope, I just mean the belief that tomorrow could be better.) One of the things that gives me hope, this year, is the rolling out, however bumpily, of the new COVID vaccines. I also find hope in the email updates I've been receiving from an American-based organization called  Survivor Corps.

Survivor Corps connects, advocates for and provides information to people suffering from longterm COVID effects (the "COVID long haulers") and their families, colleagues and friends. They have a have a strong medical advisory board, over 150,000 members in their Facebook Group and members from around the world all working to overcome the impacts of COVID-19.

In their own words, this grassroots organization:

  • continually connects, supports, educates and motivates those affected by COVID-19,
  • mobilizes as many as possible to support ongoing scientific, medical and academic research,
  • donates plasma,
  • works to find a cure and
  • supports the development of vaccines.
They add that they hope to "get people back into their communities and back to work, all the while fostering the spirit of unity and solidarity that is urgently needed during this time of crisis".

The organization offers services including an archive of webinars related to long COVID, a list of COVID-friendly physicians and an evolving list of Post COVID Care Centers including three in BC at St Paul's Hospital, Vancouver; Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver; and Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, Surrey. (These clinics require a referral from your physician.)

I'm hopeful that initiatives like Survivor Corps, the vaccine programs and the post-COVID clinics will go a long way toward making the next year safer and more tolerable for all of us. (As will our own continued patience and cooperation with all the COVID public health guidelines.) 

While I don't believe that normal life is "just around the corner", I am hopeful that by late August I will be sending out brochures for Chronic Sorrow workshops for the new carepartners of COVID long haulers (amongst other caregivers) and Caring On Empty workshops for the helping professionals who have risked their health and their lives to keep us safe and well.

Let me close this "hopeful post" by sharing a poem of hope by Jan Richardson, one of my favourite writers of blessings:

Blessing of Hope

So may we know
the hope
that is not just
for someday
but for this day -
here, now,
in this moment
that opens to us:

hope not made
of wishes
but of substance,

hope made of sinew
and muscle
and bone,

hope that has breath
and a beating heart,

hope that will not
keep quiet
and be polite,

hope that knows
how to holler
when it is called for,

hope that knows
how to sing
when there seems
little cause,

hope that raises us
from the dead -

not someday
but this day,
again and
again and

From "The Cure for Sorrow"

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