As a collective, unexpectedly, we find ourselves vacuumed into a pregnant pause of reset with an unknown due date. In the womb, we are stripped of our attachments to the characters we play, material objects we own and relationships in our lives. We continuously look outside of our sheer presence to seek validation and acceptance through identification based on ideals and expectations filtrated onto us by our conditioning. This pause is an opportunity to evolve our own humanity, to challenge ourselves, to look straight in the mirror, without our rose-coloured glasses, to authentically see the reflection staring back. The ego, is an overdressed insecurity.
This virus, coronavirus, has no boundaries and attacks cross dimensionally: rich or poor; female or male; young or old; heterosexual or homosexual, etc. As an advocate, with a profound passion for the social services sector, I have had the privilege for over 23 years to work alongside many selfless and dedicated staff in supporting people who have an intellectual disability and their families. In the course of this pandemic, these individuals have gone unnoticed. There is a lack of awareness of the toll placed amongst frontline workers, caregivers and individuals who have an intellectual disability.
Like all people during this time, individuals who have a disability are confined to their current environment, whether in a twenty-four-hour group home setting, living with their families or living independently. Many families and service providers are going into crisis due to the inability for individuals to interact with others and participate in day programs. The social distancing regulations can cause regression and behavioural outbursts amongst individuals and it is extremely difficult for families to cope if the individual has significant support needs.
The lack of sufficient access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for employees who provide support each day to society’s most vulnerable is concerning to say the least. There could also be a risk if an individual tests positive for COVID-19 and requires support regardless. Testing is needed for all employees and individuals. As well, prompt results are vital-currently it is taking three to four days. Children who have a disability are having difficulties with on-line learning through the education system. At the end of the day, people who have an intellectual disability still require support in their daily life. Their health, well being and security is paramount.
As we continue to ride the wave through the trials and turbulence during this uncertain time, the key to finding true peace is to accept what is and what will be. Do we really have a choice? Do we think we are in control? If so, in control of what exactly? Regardless, we must protect the most vulnerable especially those who cannot express in words their needs and fears. Realize everything is impermanent, nothing lasts or stays the same, to be comfortable in the uncomfortable, this is the wisdom gained from the pandemic.
This too shall pass, as many other times of crisis in the history of humanity. We are one in a million, interconnected and breathe the same air… the same air shared by many before us. Let’s live in the precious present, moment by moment by moment, the only true knowing we have.
Not one size fits all…grow according to you…