How has COVID-19 impacted your mental health?: "Well it was all-consuming. I was caring for my husband (a primary teacher) who developed COVID-19 on 30th March and suffered with long COVID for 11 weeks, trying (unsuccessfully) to home-school our five year old son, while stringently distancing from my retail job (I have 3 health conditions, so am clinically vulnerable) and working my Community Council clerk/RFO job from home.
It was a really stressful time, we were worried about how we would pay rent,etc. as retail employer said I chose not to go to work & refused to pay me / furlough me; luckily our family helped a lot financially, but now I just feel guilty for taking money / help from them again, always being in debt and surviving COVID where others lost their lives / loved ones.
We relocated in 2016 for cheaper housing & so a better life, but job competition was tough and my husband struggled to get stable, decent paid work until 2018, while I earned 20k in uni admin. I left my job in 2018 to take up an MSc offer to re-start my education career (I was a Careers Adviser for 12 years) after the combined stress of workplace bullying from a more senior colleague, a second miscarriage (2017) and such awful care at my son’s nursery that it resulted in behaviour that likely indicated he had been sexually abused by a staff member (police investigation July 2019)...I travelled 3-4 hours a day for work & paid round £50 a day for nursery, I just thought there has to be a better was than this! COVID-19 was the cherry on top of what was already a hellish few years for us, that our family’s know nothing about as they don’t understand - they own their homes & have / had well paying private sector jobs or gold-plated pension education jobs. Husband was a TA earning 8-12k for many years before getting teaching degree; he’s severely dyslexic which has had a massive impact on our lives & household income."