Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost half a million individuals have died due to the coronavirus, leaving families shocked and at a loss in a time of added uncertainty and confusion.
In Egypt, the rapidly-infecting virus has also claimed the lives of over 1,500 individuals, threatening to affect more who are high-risk or at an older age, with a weakened immune system.
As such, with governments and healthcare experts mobilized to take preventative measures at lessening economic woes and re-adjusting governmental policies, families have made to cope with sudden deaths, hasty burials and an absence of funerals.
In order to support individuals and families who have experienced the loss of loved ones during the pandemic or during the year, One4AllEgypt Initiative is partnering up with Shezlong to provide an online and free “Grief and Bereavement session” on Zoom starting June 19.
The first session is meant at assisting anyone who is grieving the loss of a friend, family member, co-worker, neighbour or any acquaintance who may have died during the year or due to COVID-19.
Future sessions planned by One4AllEgypt are also intended at providing support to COVID-19 positive people who are self-isolating at home, caregivers of COVID-19 patients and survivors of the virus.
Providing techniques on managing and dealing with grief, mental health professionals Dr. Zacharia Fakhoury, a psychotherapist and family counselor, and Dr. Zein El Abdeen Sanhour will run the sessions which will be in Arabic, with optional English translation upon request.
The idea was sparked by Nancy Hadi who lost her father during the COVID-19 crisis earlier this month. Finding it difficult to process the grief prompted her to consider others who were in a similar situation, and ways to alleviate the emotional pain of loss.
“While he was alive, the fear of taking him to the hospital and having him catch COVID-19 was unbearable. I know that I can benefit from hearing other people’s stories, and from listening to the wonderful mental health experts provided by Shezlong on how to manage the grief,” she explained.
Indeed, Nancy lost her father, aged 85, earlier this month. Although he never tested for COVID-19, his condition spiralled quickly after three ICU visits and which lead him to develop severe pneumonia; his spent the last few days of his life in a comma and on a ventilator.
Nancy’s loss was exacerbated due to the fact that her father supported her mission to raise awareness on the virus and its potential impact on others’ health.
“‘We have to think preventatively too; we have to think of how to keep our vulnerable loved ones safe,’’ she explains regarding raising awareness about the virus.
For those interested in the sessions, they will be required to register their email via Zoom.