Covid Dreams: The Importance of Acknowledging Uncertainty
I wake up. My eye is swollen shut and itchy. Walking to the health clinic masked faces judge me and when I do get there the doctor says he is, “very disappointed” with how irresponsible I’ve been.
I have pink eye, which means I was around people and must have touched my face. The pharmacist tells me I’m disgusting while handing over my prescription and people on the street shift away from me as I head home. I’m dreading telling my partner and when I open the bag which is supposed to contain my medicine it is empty.
I wake up. Since the pandemic I’ve had intense dreams and broken sleep patterns which I understand to be the results of a lack of physical activity and a consistent schedule. But this dream is so specifically covid related I decide (like I’ve decided about a lot of things lately) that these dreams are worth further consideration.
Stacey Jenkins is a psychotherapist and Jungian analyst who spoke with CTV back in April about the influx of inquiries from people who have been remembering their dreams more since the Coronavirus outbreak began.
She spoke of the lack to stimulus in our waking life during the pandemic and how this contributes to our abilities to remember dreams.
In the same interview psychology professor Imants Baruss worries we are underestimating how traumatic the pandemic is. That our subconscious could be an outlet where the trauma is presenting.
It is difficult for me to allow myself to use the word trauma in this context. I’m acutely aware that my situation is so much better than many peoples’. I have a steady employment insurance check coming in, I live in a country where basic health care is not intertwined with my employment, and I do not have young children. I’m better prepared to handle the general uncertainty of this situation than so many others.
But I’m not immune from the societal effects of the pandemic anymore than I am immune from the virus. Social isolation, disruption of routine, uncertainty about the future, and feeling either overworked or bored (with very little in between these two extremes). These societal effects are felt by almost everyone and early research out of China ,focused on those in quarantine, indicates a strong…