2022 Check In

2022 Check In

Two years on from the UK Government locking down in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, Taraki’s Punjabi Women’s Forum met to reflect on this time.

Without a doubt, the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions that came with it changed lives. Attendees agreed that they had ‘mixed emotions’ about coming out of lockdown and the world of restrictions. Some felt that lessons hadn't been learnt from the pandemic, with expectations of adjusting to life as it was pre-pandemic being difficult to contend with. The past two years had been a time of hardship for many, with cases of mental ill-health and domestic abuse rising, shedding light on the disparity facing different communities and groups. What was also highlighted was the inequalities faced by ethnic minorities. This was apparent in political movements, including the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the murder of George Floyd. It was also apparent that COVID-19 was having an impact on Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, economically as well as on health. Questions were also asked about whether there has been real change, or if the end of lockdown and restrictions has caused these issues to be forgotten.

On the other hand, many guests of the forum shared how this time allowed them to work on their mental health in a way that they hadn’t done before. As one of our attendees so eloquently put it - if the government can shut down, so can you. Lockdown provided many the time to put their happiness and needs first, and were able to shape their careers around their lives, rather than their lives around their careers.

The pandemic is not over, but it has impacted lives across the world on many levels. As we step back into a world without [or limited] restrictions, we are also taking our lessons learned. For our forum guests, these included [but were not limited to]:

— Learning that you are where you need to be
— Allowing others to step up, instead of shouldering all responsibilities yourself
— Making meaningful connections with others
— Carving time for self-reflection amidst the chaos

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