In mid-March, where I live, Covid-19 became a new word in every household, a word that triggered fear in many.  The government started closing down, sending people to work at home, sending children to home-school.  Concerned about our youth, I wrote a letter to Governor B, warning her about my concerns, warning her that the ends might not justify the means, warning her that suicide rates would increase due to the intense emotional suffering.  She didn’t respond.  There was no response of any kind from her office. 

All over the world, people are suffering due to isolation, lack of contact with friends and family, and lack of social exposure at work.  All over the world children, teenagers, and adults are suffering increased emotional trauma to help prevent people from contracting Covid-19.

As a licensed clinical social worker, I remember intense concern that to allow our sick population, many of them very old and ill, the best chance to survive, we would be sacrificing our young: to increased drug addiction, increased child abuse, increased exposure to domestic violence, increased suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar moods, and increased loss to suicide.  I never thought it would be my daughter.

Watching my children respond to news reports about Covid-19 was disturbing.  My son, a relatively introverted youth, didn’t seem particularly concerned.  He seemed to take it in stride.  Not very interested in socializing, the change didn’t impact him as much. Home-school? Okay.  We’ll give it a try. As a huge advocate for our earth and our climate, my pre-teen daughter met with government officials to advocate for a greener approach to climate management. Watching her during Covid-19, I witnessed the destruction of a healthy, happy new teen.  She gradually developed anxiety, lost her self-esteem, and developed depression.  Soon she had panic attacks. 

Approaching her with everything I had to offer, I managed to help her stop the panic attacks, but help from your mother is not what a teenaged girl wants.  I was pushed to the curb.  I kept trying, offering multi vitamins in the morning, a walk in the later morning, guided meditation in the afternoon, and anything else I could think of.  Some she cooperated with, most she rejected.  Watching the wild fire smoke fill our valley, I tried to stop the plunge into the abyss.  I was almost too late.

Many of you may have read other blogs about her oldest brother, who committed suicide five years ago.  He had been hospitalized for suicidality, was kept on suicide watch, then discharged prematurely the day he committed suicide.

Triggered when my daughter entered the hospital, fighting for her life, I feared losing another child. Visiting her, I watched her energy fade, her voice become nearly inaudible, and her hips become bonier.  Finally, we got her into a hospital that could make her eat, Ensure or a feeding tube.  Thank God she chose the least invasive.

Barely recovering from the fatal loss of my son, I was broken and terrified, unclear how I could tolerate this new trauma.  My spirit began following my daughter’s down the path to darkness. Fatigue descended, achiness filled my chest, and my eyes became raw with tears. The death of my son and my daughter’s fight for her life became intertwined, a grief too much to endure.

Thankfully, I found some new rope to drag myself out of that murky place.  I meditated and received a message, to search for entertainment for my daughter while normal conversation remained impossible.  I realized there was a way I could help, catapulting me away from hopelessness. 

During this insane time of increased suffering to our youth and healthy, I send out loving energy and prayers to all of you, wishing you peace, joy, and health.  I welcome your loving energy and prayers for my daughter.