Saturday night in January 2021. Not at all like many Saturday nights I have had in my life. No going to the pub, no meal at a nice restaurant, and no getting dressed up. This is becoming the normal way of life. Like almost everyone I speak to at the moment, I am finding things hard.
It feels as though those leading the pandemic response and the media need to recognise this and take it into account with everything they do. There is a responsibility to be part of the solution in a way that is often not seen.
None of us have lived through a pandemic like this before. We all as communicators need to be listening and ensuring what we learn is fed back to the decision makers. They have to understand the world they are working in and making decisions in. It will impact on how successful they are.
I am longing for a change in the prevailing narrative. Not to deny the terrible situation we face or to stop reminding people what they need to do, but now is the time for more. That ‘more’ is to try and find a way to help people through when they are struggling. It is more than saying wait for the vaccine, it needs to be much more.
It is a terrible fact that when people get down and hope disappears they may take drastic action. A huge amount of support is in place and there are amazing networks of help. But if everyone who is struggling sought help the support would be overwhelmed. This situation is taking its toll on the mental health of all of us.
Now is the time for both leaders and the media to start factoring this in to what they do. They need to recognise the impact of their words and need to take action to help people through. We can all do our bit to help each other through when times get tough.