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Patient Voices: Stories from the COVID lockdown

Stories from the COVID lockdown

We have learnt, over two decades of digital storytelling in healthcare, that the are many stories to be told, shared and heard in any situation. As the COVID lockdown changed the way we work – shifting our focus from face-to-face to the online faciliation of storytelling – we determined to use our skills and expertise to help people reflect on their experiences of this time.

Over the last months, we have been running online reflective workshops via Zoom (if you’re interested, check them out on our workshops page). The workshops take place over six weeks, and the first finished stories are starting to appear – and some storytellers have generously agreed to share their experiences. We hope to continue to build this resource so everyone can learn from it.

The rising
A choir is not just a part of a community – it is a community in itself. When the larger community is shutdown by the coronavirus lockdown, the choir’s activity must cease, depriving its members of the joy and thrill of performimg together. But, through careful planning and behaviour, there may yet be light at the end of the tunnel!

A story of death and birth
Throughout the years, mountains have formed a backdrop to the narrative of Kate’s life. That narrative has paused several times – on the death of her father, on the death of her husband, and in the stillness of the Coronavirus lockdown. But her narrative has also resumed from those pauses – with a pregnancy and the birth of a son, with the realisation that the universe is neither malevolent or benevolent, and with musing, against the backdrop of the Colorado mountains, about how the story will continue…

Bucket list
Cancer regularly throws potholes, barriers and hairpin bends into Emma’s road through life – a road she has chosen to punctuate with ticking things off her bucket list. And then? And then Covid comes out of the verge and throws an even bigger roadblock in her way – a pandemic. That was definitely not on her bucket list.

Two-letter person
Claudia is a a doctor. A consultant. And she is also a person who has to shield from the novel Coronavirus, because of pre-existing conditions and treatments. Not only does she have to change and adapt her working style and processes, learning new technologies and approaches to the care she is committed to giving, but her husband is also a clinician, one who must also keep working for his patients. So they must shield from each other, giving up human contact and intimacy in order to survive.

Storm Covid
A woman caught in a global storm no one foresaw. A woman with a career, a life and a small child. A woman determined to reach safe harbour on the other side of the storm.

Even in a country where people trust in the system, the long hard slog through the marsh of lockdown takes a toll on physical and emotional energy, leaving citizens debilitated and isolated. Partners and friends provide physical support, comfort and nourishment that helps us meet the physical challenges of life – how and who will we be supported by through the emotional and psychological exhaustion of the Covid-19 lockdown?

A spring in my step
Jo grew up in a generation of women fortunate to bebeginning to be able to make choices for their own bodies – about birth and conception. After her mother dies in a care home without a living will or a DNR in place, Jo determines that, in the face of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, she will once more take control – this time over her death.

Want to make your own stories?

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