There is an eery silence in vacant streets of Ireland, some have described it like a ghost town with a depressing feeling. The birds are singing in clear skies and the network of Facebook, Instagram, Podcasts and Whats app are
buzzing with updates of numbers of cases and number of deaths as people try to communicate with each other during this lockdown phase of the pandemic. We are only allowed to leave our houses for essential work, to visit the doctor, chemist or for food shopping and exercise is restricted to maximum 2km radius and from the 10th April this restriction will be extended to the 5th May. Even the television has STAY AT HOME visible on the screen under the station logo.
As I write this on the 13th April 2020 there are over 1,851,531 confirmed Covid cases worldwide and over 114,000 deaths reported in the media. The numbers are reported constantly depending on what media you search and with this constant search for data comes a level of anxiety. Social distancing and flatten the curve are words that roll of the tongue too easily now.
As a final year homeopathic student working in a local hospital, preparations have been ongoing for the past 6 weeks and there is an unfamiliar calm. Staff are making preparations for what is to come! Normally busy wards are very quiet with an unusual number of empty beds. Schools have been closed for the past 32 days, parents are
working from home and front-line staff have childcare issues. Parents are setting up home schooling, beside their office desk and with the further restrictions, trips to the parks are off unless it is within 2 km of your house. Some have lost their jobs which bring financial uncertainty and other are trapped in difficult settings unable to self-isolate.
Houses are getting crowded and tensions are running high. The novelty of a few days off is long gone and there are new challenges facing all households. The over 70’s, who can be quite active, have been asked to “cocoon” which in itself present some challenges. Irish people are very affectionate and love a chat and a gossip, so social distancing is very difficult. The fear of death is present and for the people that has already lost loved ones, the ritual of the wake and large funerals are no longer
permitted. Only 10 people are allowed to attend a funeral and, as this is an important part of the grieving process, unresolved emotions may not be processed. People have also stopped social interaction, not even a salutation
which must resonate with previous generations with infectious diseases. The challenge has yet to come with the surge in cases predicted this week.
The mental and physical symptoms that follow below are from healthy people, who have not experienced any covid 19 symptoms. I have observed a combination of mental/emotional symptoms from a range of age groups from students, adults, front line staff, professionals and the elderly. The common themes expressed were; “fear they would catch the virus, fear that they would have no work, fear of the unknown and future re: upcoming exams, anxiety, colleagues shirking their responsibility, fear about the future and loved ones, anger that not all people are social distancing, change in
roles and anger that some people won’t step up to the mark, apprehension, lonely cause I can’t meet my friends, panic due to lack of information, trapped, can’t leave the house due to self-isolating, scared and terrified for loved ones, exhaustion and in limbo. Waiting is the worse part of it all”. Some of the physicals expressed are chest tightness and the feeling of a weight in the stomach.
Two of the key actions to help to stop the spread of Covid 19 are to wash your hands with soap and water and clean surfaces with an alcohol solution. There appears to be a nationwide need for order, free from dirt and germs. This was also very evident in the first week of school closures with reports of people cleaning out sheds, attics and spare room. Before the lock down garden centres/ DIY stores were buzzing with people buying paint and plants. The rubrics (using Synthesis 9.1 by Dr Frederik Schroyens) that represent the mental state of this community are:
❖ Mind angry
❖ Mind anxiety during sleep
❖ Mind anxiety about the future
❖ Mind anxiety about his health and the health of his family/loved ones
❖ Mind anxiety unknown about exams
❖ Mind apprehension
❖ Mind change aversion to
❖ Mind confusion
❖ Mind overwhelmed
❖ Mind delusion he is trapped
❖ Mind fear of hearing bad news
❖ Mind fear of the future
❖ Mind fear of people
❖ Mind fear poverty
❖ Mind fear of death
❖ Mind prostration (exhaustion)
❖ Mind suicidal disposition.
These 4 remedies represent the themes verbalised by a sample community from an 18-year-old student to a 90 yearold retiree and include males and females across numerous disciplines. As I mentioned all are well with no covid 19 symptoms; however, some have co-morbidities.
(Aconitum Napellus, Monkshood, Wolf’s Bane)
Aconitum is indigenous to areas at altitudes between 1000 and 3000 metres on mountain slopes. It is called monkshood because of the shape of the flowers. The name aconitum is said to be derived from Gr. Akon, a dart, in reference to arrows at one time being poisoned with the juices of the plant. (Prisma June 2004)
Main mental symptoms in Prisma: Affinity with the nerves, heart, brain and joints. They are excitable, extreme restlessness and anguish, fear of death with violent, sudden panic attacks/terror. Oversensitive to trifles. Anxious
expression during complaints and awakens from first sleep. Sensation of presentiment of death.
Murphy writes “With mental and emotional shock and never well since a fright or shock. Ailments from fright, fear of death and dying with great anxiety. Nightmare, phobias and panic attacks. Nightmare after a horror stories, tendency to be startled. Fright followed by panic and shock with Constant pressure in left chest, pressure in stomach with dyspnoea.
Metallic arsenic belongs to the nitrogen family and is classified as a metalloid. Arsenic enters the environment from its use as a pesticide and from emissions from smelting industries.
(Prisma June 2004)
Main Mental Symptoms in Prisma:
i. Preservation of health, positions, health strength and relationships. Wants things to last, health, property and possessions, strength and relationships.
ii. Disintegration: subjects are preoccupied by death. Fears of disease, death. Fastidious, immaculate outer exterior. Obsessed with order and tidiness, OCD. Attention to detail. Gets security from order. Miserly,careful. Collects all kinds of material things. Tremendous restlessness, anguish, anxiety about health, dependency on other people. There is an insecurity with many fears of poverty and death, there is a carefulness. Feeling that everything is tending to get worse. Looks on the dark side of things.
Murphy writes “Clinging, anxious and desperate. Begs for help. Extremely nervous and anxious. Deep insecurities and fears with obsessive compulsive order. Fastidious, upset about disorder, dirt and germs. Despair of recovery. Clinging to a doctor, needing for reassurance.
From the St Ignatia bean and is adapted to persons of nervous temperament, affinity with the nerves, especially women in sensitive, excited easily nature and mind disposition.
(Prisma June 2004)
Main mental symptoms in Prisma: Ailments from anger, anger with silent grief, disappointment, disappointed love, fright and shame. High ideals and expectations, strong desire to make them true. Strong sense of duty. Inner conflict, worse for consolation. Leading to contradiction and alternating states. There is involuntary sighing and emotional outbursts. Tendency to eat away problems either become fat, bulimia or anorexia. There is a bitterness with women who have had particularly hard lives. They tend to become bitter and tough, but still craving approval in some form. Ignatia women seek to impress by dominating others. They tend to exaggerate.
Murphy writes: suppressed or deep grief with long drawn sighs, with ailments from grief and shock and disappointment, hearing bad news and from fright. Constantly frustrated.
(Proving by Nuala Eising – extract from provings Vol 2. P354)
“Vacuum is the space between heaven and earth. On 2nd January 1999, I procured a vacuum pump of the type generally used to take the air out of a wine bottle. I obtained a new brown 500ml bottle with and opening that would fit the vacuum pump. I washed the bottle numerous times in pure alcohol. I put 20mls of pure alcohol into the bottle, and then used
the pump to create a vacuum. I left the alcohol in the bottle for several hours, checking that the vacuum was maintained. After this, I opened the bottle and took three drops of the alcohol and added it to 297 drops of un-vacuumed pure alcohol. I succussed the mixture and got the 1c potency. I continued in this manner until I developed the 30c potency.”
“There is a lack of concentration, cannot think straight, I feel the space I’m in at present is so removed from everything around me. There is a great stillness and sadness. Lack of optimism. Overwhelming sadness and
despair. Worries about people she cares about. I panicked that I did not have enough money. I felt worthless and alone – nobody cares.
I feel in limbo. Feeling of being stuck in a journey, I’m allowing outside things to influence me. Have a paranoid feeling and a vivid fear of war. Super sensitive to what is going on in the world – becoming very apocalyptic. Feeling we are doomed. I had panic attacks, like a continuous panic attack. I’ve planted the conservatory with edible plants, feel the need for physical work, painting the house. I’m finding it much more difficult than usual to concentrate on mental work. I really don’t want to do anything intellectual at all. Has a vacant feeling. Clutter around annoying me. I wish I was tidier. Delusions of being contaminated, delusions he is dirty, delusions the earth is doomed, delusion everything is strange. Very irritable, irrationally irritable, frustrated that I can’t accomplish what is set out to do.”
With the help of Robin Murthy ND, Nature’s Materia Medica 3rd edition, Frans Vermeulen, Prisma – The Arcana of
Materia Medica Illuminated and Nuala Eising, Provings Volume 2. these four remedies would help alleviate the fears and anxieties of the general population. Given as a first aid remedy, with a short consultation to match the remedy to the symptoms this would improve their mental wellbeing, thus reducing their stress. The key to keeping well during these strange times, I believe, is to reduce the stress. Countless papers have been written in relation to stress and ill health. According to the Irish HSE website
“Stress can affect how you feel emotionally, mentally and physically. Stress can also affect how you behave. You may feel emotionally overwhelmed, irritable and wound up. You can also feel anxious or fearful and lacking in self-esteem. You may have difficulty concentrating and in making decisions”.
It would be very difficult to remove the obstacles to cure as Covid 19 and the anxiety it generates is not going anywhere in the short term however we can help ourselves by keeping out mind and body healthy. A healthy
balanced diet with the recommended 5 to 7 a day of fruit or vegetables and exercise within the 2km restrictions. When we talk about balance, we should also consider screen time versus fresh air and alcohol in moderation. We should try to maintain optimum health so that if we are unlucky enough to contract the Covid 19 we are in a good position
to fight the virus, with a good outcome. From linking in with fellow homeopaths and listening to webinars the main theme is that the recovery from Covid 19 is a marathon not a sprint in all aspects of our lives. So, what I am trying to practice with my family and friends, in an effort to keep us all well, is to reduce the stress and anxiety, eat fresh fruit and vegetable and get daily exercise. I have added Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc
supplements to our diet; however, this is based on having no underlying medical conditions.
Stay safe, reduce your anxiety and get some fresh air. This too shall pass.