It is time that we who care for so many, extend our care to all in our communities by curtailing face to face interactions. The COVID-19 guidelines talk about this as social distancing, yet there is a way that ensuring geographical separation, at this time, is a way to build bonds of deep caring and nurturing. There are increasing indications that this virus is transmitted in ways beyond coughs, sneezes, germs and attaching to hard surfaces; keeping six or ten feet of space between ourselves and tissues at the ready are not enough. We have Italians imploring us to listen and to seek refuge in our homes, to self-quarantine now. We have seen the Chinese government insist that its Wuhan citizens self-quarantine and that doing so slowed the contagion. We are learning that flattening the curve - or slowing the rate of transmission is a life-saving measure, as it creates more time for healthcare systems to tend to the afflicted. We are reading Lynn Unger's poem, Pandemic, in prayer asking us to be still and to reach one another with our capacious hearts.
As the AEDP of the Finger Lakes community, we are taking note and imploring clinicians to move their work on line to one of the several HIPAA compliant platforms. (The options and issues related to payment have circulated; we will get paid for the vast majority of online work we do.) As AEDP therapists we offer our older, wiser selves to our clients. We need to move our work online to safeguard not only our clients, their loved ones, their colleagues, ourselves, and our loved ones, but also to safeguard our communities' health.
The experts assure us that the only way to stop transmission is to stop face to face engagement. It is our civic duty as therapists to shift our work online, and to serve as community ambassadors for safeguarding all members of our communities by self-quarantining ourselves. Let us listen to the Italians, the Chinese, the Iranians, the scientists, the poets, the CDC… Let us listen and let us stay connected in our hearts.
We are creative and big-hearted people. Together we can ride out the surging waves of emotion, and together we can address the problems that our minds so readily toss up at us. As an elder from the Hopi Nation Oraibi in Arizona said, “We are the ones we've been waiting for."
We implore you to join us in linking our spirits and our hope, while we sequester our bodies, to safeguard the most vulnerable among us, so we can all join arms in the years to come.
With love and with great faith that together we can turn the tides of this pandemic, The Organizing Committee of AEDP Finger Lakes-- Celeste Froehlich, LCSW Donna George, LCSW Suki Hall, PhD Kate Halliday, LCSW-R Jenn Heatley, LMSW, LMT Rebecca Lee, LMSW J A McKnight, LCSW Hannah Rumpf, LCSW Lisa Strayer, PhD Michael Troy, LMSW