Psychiatrists say that millions of people are suffering emotionally, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Surveys from the US and other countries have reported the rise of adverse mental health conditions associated with isolation and reduced functions.
In these polls, respondents reported symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder; trauma-related symptoms; new or increased substance use; and thoughts of suicide. These conditions are higher this year than what was reported last year.
Yes, many people are indeed suffering.
What can we do to avoid poor mental health? Many of my friends have turned to art—even those who never took up art in their life before the lockdown. One of them is Heidi, whose amazing works (in various series), are a breath of fresh air amidst the many doom-and-gloom uploads from a distraught citizenry.
“Oh, no, I am not am artist,” she said when I told her I am a fan of her art. “I am just enjoying doing this for sharing. FB friends need less toxic posts these days.”
I marveled at her "Inspire" poster series, not only because one of them is titled “Gathering Grace” but because of the encouraging messages she has on each poster. About the series she wrote, “Be inspired; keep the faith; we will get through this.”
I thank God for friends like Heidi who encourages us to choose hope over despair , to see the light seeping through the darkness.
For indeed, grace is everywhere for the taking, and there is no limit to what we can and want to gather.