COVID19: Coping with the day after lockdown

Soul searching

Psychoanalyst Georgia Nathanail said on the ‘day after’ it is not necessarily how we greet each other or show affection with physical gestures, such as a kiss or hug that will determine the quality of our future relationships.

“Most certainly the day after will bring along an amount of distrust and suspicion created on fear which flourished during the lockdown period.

However, what will play a decisive role in how human relationships will evolve from here is the quality of collective experiences,” said Nathanail.

She said that coming together and sharing experiences is what will do away with fear and mistrust.

During the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, she said, we all lost something.

“In order to come close to one another, we will have to take risks. We will have to give up a bit of our ego, the feeling of being safe.

If we are not ready to take the risk, then maybe we are not ready to meet one another once more.”

Nathanail explained that the question is not where or how the ‘day after’ will find us, but rather how we will define it and ourselves within the new reality.

“The question is whether we will choose the ‘day after’ to conform with the way we want to live, or whether we will sink into our misery, waiting to see which disease strikes us first”.

The psychoanalyst said that post-lockdown should be all about our sense of solidarity and togetherness.

“If we don’t come together and act with these values at heart to form a vision for the day after, then inevitably we will find ourselves with real distances between us”.

She argued that Cypriot society will have to take a hard look at itself and reevaluate its position on three different key issues such as public health, how we treat refugees, and work-related relations.

“We are the day after. The society in which we live is a reflection of ourselves, the level of our political and social consciousness, the criteria we have developed for analysis and intervention.”

Nathanail said staying at home offered the opportunity to reassess the life choices we have made.

“This is important because it is likely to bring us closer to the question of how we really want to live, both on a personal but also collective level.”