Experts say mourning loved ones who have gone missing from the coronavirus pandemic are increasingly turning to online forums and virtual memory websites to support their grief.
Meanwhile, Sue Ryder, a national bereavement charity, and a coalition of interparty lawmakers, charities and healthcare professionals are urging the government to introduce at least two weeks of legally paid bereavement leave for UK employees who have lost someone.
The death toll from Covid-19 in the UK has exceeded 100,000, and in the absence of physical contact, people are looking for comfort through social media, phone helplines and other platforms.
However, experts say this will not help everyone. Some don’t have access to online support, while others will still struggle to get over the grief as they have died from the epidemic.
Since the site was opened by St. Paul’s Cathedral in London last May, more than 6,400 tributes have been added to the online memorial book for Corona 19 victims. Friends and guardians of deceased people can submit names, photos and short messages for free in honor of their loved ones. Compared to summer and autumn, the number of people leaving the memorial increased during this second wave.
Others have formed a support group, including a series of free online services called CovidSpeakEasy, whose partners allow those who died of the virus to tell their stories and share their experiences.
Jon Van Niekerk, a regular adult professor at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said he knows that as video conferencing becomes more normal, there are more people asking for help through friends through Zoom. In general, when we’re sad we’re surrounded by friends and family and people are now reaching out in a virtual way and getting it through virtual hugs, he said. Van Niekerk said it was important to speak because sadness can be an extremely lonely process without it.
Jon Levett, chief executive of the National Association of Funeral Directors, said that as grief forums appear more and more and funeral homes offering video links to help people say goodbye virtually, an online portal that will help. I paid attention to the appearance. He said: There has always been a so-called death café with bereavemented people gathering and sitting. Not allowed under current restrictions, but more and more platforms [support groups] People who have been bereavement are going online and talking.
Angharad Burden, bereavement coordinator for Marie Curie, an end-of-life care charity in the UK, said that between March and December last year, calls to national support lines increased 25% year over year. before. Since March, a million people have accessed online information through the website.
There are currently several unique challenges associated with grief, Burden said. Blockades and restrictions mean that many people are unable to rely on their usual support networks or reach out to people in the community as they normally do.
Burden also said that people felt that personal grief was not important amid an epidemic that killed thousands of people. We try to make them feel truly heard and proven. All the stats can be overwhelming.
Professor Lorraine Sherr, professor of clinical and health psychology at University College London, said that communities and relationships play a major role in grief. She added that losing someone unexpectedly could be harsher.
Sherr worried about people getting sad. She adds that people are currently experiencing other losses as well as death, giving examples of mothers who may not have a partner when their children are born due to Covid restrictions.
Usually, when there is sadness, it incorporates it into a new life, but Covid interrupted the process because he could not return to his normal life. We don’t visit our kids and go out to good places to listen to music. All paths back to life are closed, so you have to make it much more difficult.
Van Niekerk said clinicians would welcome government support for grief counseling and more information to help people know what already exists. In the long run, he said, more specific interventions will need to be scaled up in response to those with complex or long-term grief.
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