What actually happened to me
Ok, I didn't really have it badly. Just a minor dose. Other folk have had it so much worse than I.
- I feel so tired
- I don't want contact with anyone
- What does that cough mean?
- I never get a fever
- My throat is scratchy, maybe it's just a cold?
- I can't taste things properly
- My joints are so painful
- Is this shortness of breath the illness, or is it a panic attack?
- Pins and needles in my limbs. Covid-19 or Chronic Fatigue?
- How can I cope with others' reactions?
- I wish I could be tested
- I thought I was getting better, but I feel back to square one again
- Days 5 - 8 are nearly there - will I go downhill?
- How would I cope with going to ICU?
- Will I die?
- When will I see my grandchildren?
As soon as I started coughing, my husband and I agreed that complete honesty was vital. He is a doctor (as are both my children and their partners), and we decided to rate my symptoms on a score of 0 - 10 three times a day. More often than this if I had a fever spike.
My children work in ICU and A&E. When I went down with the illness, they were having to deal with the initial onslaught of the virus. I was informed that Days 5 - 8 were the crucial time, when I might go downhill rapidly.
How did I react?
What a huge mish-mash of reactions and feelings I experienced. Some of the thoughts and triggers are listed above. Some of these remained as just thoughts, but others had traction. They took me into emotional responses, some of which were easily processed, but some of which triggered familiar patterns. The debilitating effects of Covid-19, even in a mild case such as mine, meant that the safest way forward was to temporarily "park" some of these responses whilst I took care of my physical state.
I was fortunate that lockdown in the UK had occurred just 2 days prior to my getting sick. All my 'normal' activities and commitments were wiped out in one fell swoop, so I didn't have to go through all the cancellation processes myself. I felt guilty that my husband had to self isolate for 2 weeks, but he was assiduous in following the required protocols and in caring for me.
What steps did I take?
You will gather that externally I had very good care, and my physical condition was carefully monitored. We even ordered and used an oxygen SATS probe, as this would be the clearest indication that I may be going downhill.
Emotionally it was a different matter though.
I have been using EFT tapping for several years now, for my own personal development and in helping others. I have also been using continuous tapping. Even feeling at my worst in this virus, just tapping without any specific focus would calm my nervous system. When I contracted the virus, the national and international feeling was that of great fear and uncertainty. Even when not listening to the news, I was aware of rumour and counter rumour; opinion and counter opinion. So I tapped.
As you can see from the above list, the issue of Covid-19 can carry a great many different aspects. Some of these are unique to an individual's situation; others are universal. From my experience, I would advise starting EFT tapping from whatever point someone finds themselves. Priorities and values will differ. There is no point tapping on "fear of death" if that is not an issue for someone! If you are using a set up statement, perhaps something as general as:
Even though there is this Covid-19 situation.......
Even though I think I have Covid-19.......
Universally, however, we are aware that this is a period of great upheaval. And upheaval can give rise to stress, tension and fear. The following reminder phrases could be useful, such as
This Covid stress
All these Covid unknowns
All the tension I'm feeling
From these points, the more specific and personal issues and attachments can emerge.
Releasing emotional attachments
In addition, to support recovery from the virus, I used Steve Wells' IEP (Intention based Energy Process) - otherwise known as Intention Tapping. In brief, taking whatever thought or feeling or situation you are aware of, you release your emotional attachments to these (tapping at the same time makes this most effective). You then restore the right energy balance and flow to wherever in your body there is a disturbance. IEP has been particularly helpful in my recovery from Covid-19.
The situation around the virus, as well as the virus itself, is multi-factorial. What I did not need during my recovery was the added frisson of fear and anxiety. Someone once said (please tell me who, if you know!) that you are referring to the past when you feel fear, and that you are anticipating the future when you feel anxiety. IEP can dispel this and enable you to focus on the present, where things are actually happening now.
What now, going forward?
At the time of writing, we are at towards the end of the first wave of the virus. I continue to tap and to release. I focus on today. When thoughts emerge, they are filed away if they are helpful, or allowed to dissipate if they are unhelpful. I am much stronger now, and have more capacity for useful action. I have a clearer idea of who I am, and my place in the world. It has been a natural progression to practise gratitude daily, and to take great joy in nature and creativity. I have become kinder to myself and others about our collective 'failings'.
Tapping, IEP, good medical care, connection with others (carefully boundaried), healthy food, dog walks and privileged personal circumstances, have all contributed to my recovery from Covid-19. My heart goes out to those that have not been so fortunate.
Sue is an EFT practitioner and musician, specialising in performance anxiety and emotional eating issues.