Relative Risk during the pandemic - our physical and mental health

This may have similar themes to other threads, but it is increasingly apparent that the pandemic is having incredibly negative effects mentally and physically, probably for most of us but particularly those in isolation.

Many carry on as normal and aren’t bothered by the risk to themselves as they perceive it as low risk.

Many observe social distancing, use all protective measures available because the threat is real and unquantifiable for them personally, probably the majority.

Then we have those of us who may be more vulnerable due to underlying health conditions, age or simply frightened by the pandemic.

I invite observations, support and sensible discussion on this topic.

Thank you.


Following on from this, I suspect most of us are of an age where we value anonymity online, and frankly do not want to ‘wash our dirty laundry in public’, and I primarily mean declaring health issues.

I’d never considered myself invulnerable but had never questioned my mortality until I realised I had classic symptoms of diabetes soon after my son was born just over 10 years ago, I checked my blood glucose, then shat myself mentally as it was sky high.

Managed to get on top of this for many years by exercising like mad, but to the detriment of family life as I was always at the gym in the evenings.

Why me, why now? Those feelings along with feelings of guilt that ‘it was somehow my fault’ have stayed with me for a decade.

Frankly I controlled it very well initially, but over the last 6-7 years the stresses of severely unwell elderly parents, being an only child/contact and incessantly phoned by care agencies, social services etc took its toll mentally. They both passed away last year. It is only now in retrospect that I can see how it affected me mentally, and also made me angry and crotchety with the kids and my partner.

There was a combination of guilt about being unable to actually help their medical issues despite being in the field, and resentment that I could not even take a holiday in the UK without calls from carers or other agencies virtually every day.

My glycaemic control has been deteriorating, but it’s gone AWOL since March - working from home (an instant 3000 less steps per day if not more), closure of gyms and avoiding most out of home activities have had severe effects on physical conditioning.

My colleagues resent the fact that I primarily work from home due to real risk factors, and ‘emergency’ work changes in response to the pandemic have been incredibly stressful.

Mrs AC has in her work been moved from pillar to post with scant regard for her contract.

This thread is prompted by DrMark’s comments in the Coronavirus thread as I feel many of us recognise we are not ourselves in these strange times, but could really do with a separate outlet for discussion.

While I apologise for airing my own trivial personal issues I think the aphorism of a ‘problem shared is a problem halved’ has never been truer.

Best, AC


I agree and I’m repeatedly amazed how lockdowns seem to be regarded by many keyboard warriors as something with trivial or ignorable side-effects and which are unquestionably a Good Thing. They aren’t: their effects are serious, wide-ranging and will be long-lasting. That’s not the same as saying they are never justified, but they should be thought of as comparable to dropping a bomb on a civilian area to achieve a probable greater good.

I was deeply moved this week to see the video on the BBC website which interviewed two clergy in Burnley who are supporting the poor and vulnerable. Worth a look if you’re feeling emotionally robust and want to see the effects of lockdown and other restrictions on those at what is often regarded as the ‘bottom of the pile’.



It would be great if we could keep our general political opinions about lockdowns out of this thread and keep it a little bit more personal, if possible. Words like ‘keyboard warriors’ could be perceived as inflaming by some, and we already have the Coronavirus thread where similar dynamics occur and lead to Richard stepping in.

Just my personal opinion…

Do you have a link Mark?

Thanks for starting this thread and I think that you are correct in that sharing experiences and potential problems can help to place a context around our individual feelings, letting them be seen as not just individual. We are all suffering in some way due to the restrictions on our life due to Covid specifically. This may come on top of pre existing conditions or may be the shock of something that we haven’t had to face before.
My own starting point is being of an age where life experiences have included past disappointments and events that I hoped were not going to be repeated. The current circumstances have once again reminded me that my life is actually outside of my control. The move we wanted to make, the loss of friends and family with doubts over treatments given or missed. The lack of a proper funeral and celebration with friends and family of a life now passed. Indeed the anger at the situation that may have been handled better, and the continuation of the isolation without end, or so it seems. Living in France the daily courtesies of the shaking of hands, the kiss on the cheeks, the sharing of a village meal- all gone. Even the occasional walk into the village cafe/bar, or the drive into town to pick up a few things forgotten with the main shop, of just fancied for a change. All have stopped and been made to feel only possible if really necessary, and have a risk attached. The wearing of masks and the plastic screens everywhere separate us from each other. It is wholly depressing. As we get older, both of us here have realised that time is not on our side ( if it ever was) to wait for something better to turn up, but we are also responsible and I dare say caring enough not to want to just throw caution to the wind and risk others.

How galling it is then to see many others do just that.
There is no answer but it is good to share the frustrations.


If it’s allowed:

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That is pretty sobering, thanks for the link.

In reality we really ought to be looking at how most of our society was impoverished prior to the pandemic, and we discuss hi-fi matters that maybe 0.01% could aspire to, if that.

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I’ve mentioned on other threads that I had a third round of melanoma removed on my face in March only to have that followed by my wife having a serious cancer diagnosis during our first lock down in New Zealand. That meant chemo and trips to Auckland during the lockdown and all the drama around that with myself and our daughter not being able to be with her for support. My business income also dropped by 50% for 6 months and has only just recovered.

But things can be better with time, as adjustments are made. Mrs Mike has finished the urgent stage of treatment and can look back at having caught things early enough thanks to some determined and through checks at the time. I’ve adjusted to part time work and enjoying what that brings (it also means no more HiFi upgrades… so enjoy what we have). We’re tackling finishing the grounds and house whilst still working with income and I’ve done a lot myself that’s got me fit and out of my head. So benefits there.

I did have a few Reginal Perrin moments though, gazing over the harbour from the beach thinking, can I take my cloths off, go for a swim, and come back for a different life :sunglasses::flushed::thinking:


Unfortunately there is not an easy answer to the balancing of mental and physical health needs of popluations or if there is and it was known about the world would likely be a better place.

As a recently retired mental health professional I wish there was so my still working colleagues would not have such a difficult task to manage the additional demand on services in the months and years to come and have to work out how best to help all the people who because of the pandemic are requiring addtional support. Keeping things simple it is right to say Isolation does cause emotional distress and this can lead to mental health problems developing. Alongside this, beareavement and grieving also causes emotional distress and this could lead to a mental health problem. Then if you add in possible guilt because someone feels rightly or wrongly their actions caused a loved one to catch and die from Covid19 you also have a risk, arguabley a higher one of a mental health problem developing. Hopefully policy makers are aware of this and are factoring in the risks of each into the decision making about lockdowns and will find way to fund services so that they can meet the increased need.


There was a programme I saw about the Cornwall a few months ago, fascinating in itself about the decline of local industries as well as new efforts to revive mining, but there were also several extremely sad examples of how the pandemic had devastated people’s lives in the region, and how reliant people had become on foodbanks.

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I’m getting the sense that this thread may well quickly steer into political territory, if it hasn’t already done so. We already have a coronavirus thread, so if this thread does indeed turn out to have underlying political themes, I will remove it.

For all that, mental health is so very important and I do agree that this pandemic has had a very substantial impact that we all need to do our part to address. In some ways even this forum has a part to play here, and has done so over the past year. So I thank all of you who have contributed so positively and helped to ensure that everybody here has felt part of a community, and not completely alone during this often difficult period.


I was hoping to avoid politics, I noticed earlier I’d quickly replied mentioning something I should have edited as it potentially strayed into global politics - thanks for editing. Happy for you to delete the thread if you feel it’s duplicating things - I was genuinely concerned about another poster’s comments elsewhere here and was hoping to provide an outlet to discuss these issues outside the main thread as I believe we have all been affected to some extent or another.

Many years ago, I remember a very irate Flying Officer berate someone who had looked after his own needs and left others behind .
He used a naval analogy and it is something I will always remember and that is ‘the convoy moves at the speed of the slowest ship’
Your colleagues are being very selfish , rather like the people who put their masks below their nose.

This forum has been a lifeline and I am so grateful to Naim

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Entirely agree. Thanks to Naim for hosting it and to Richard Dane for keeping us on the straight and narrow!


As I posted here a couple of months ago, I got really depressed in August/September. A build up of loss of work (purpose rather than financial, although both), loneliness (I’m a loner, but have never felt loneliness before, not like this anyway) and grief at the loss of my dog.
I lost the opportunity to exercise for three weeks while recuperating from a medical procedure.
It was a build up, and it got on top of me completely.

I have worked my way back up, partly by reversing some of the above. I have planned work projects for next year, which may never come to pass, but some good ideas have been generated from it.
I fostered a dog, and that may become permanent, if I am in a position to offer him the best possible home option. (Which depends on my work situation, and no-one more suitable coming forward). I will do what’s best for him, but currently he is lighting up every day for me.
I have got back to a great exercise regime (and from that stems sensible eating, drinking and even timekeeping).

My record player is away being serviced/mended (bad) but I have (re)-discovered just how good my Naim CD player sounds (good). Which is nice.

It goes in waves and doubtless I will get depressed again in the future, but having come through that tunnel of horrors has given me hope.

I’m not qualified to offer advice, but there are people who care, and to ask is all it takes to receive support.


Thanks for the link to that series. Just watched the first episode. Very interesting.

I saw it inadvertently one Sunday evening, I found it very moving. Must watch the second episode on iPlayer.

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Edit: i should’ve posted this in one of the other appropriate threads, will move…

This has always been a tenet of mine; I was a naval cadet and it was drummed into us. Now in the context of this thread, the impact of poor mental health has impinged upon my dear ones. One has been sectioned, and another is on antidepressants.

It’s rather sad; I muse about lack of resilience, but in truth these two individuals are survivors of abuse of one sort or another. Families are fallible, and as a fellow cadet said to me yesterday, we can only hope to do better than our parents - providing support in whatever ways are possible. And as @Rod_Smith often alludes to in his posts, a faithful four-footed friend, and the joys of nature, are a bulwark at different times in our lives; often I find when humans let us down, or are not around.