“Until now it’s been smouldering, and I’ve been waiting for the eruption to come. Now it has. One year after the first restrictions, the lockdown honeymoon is over,” psychiatrist Michal Patarák wrote in a Facebook post in mid-March.
The lockdown honeymoon that Patarák, head of the psychiatric department at one of the country’s biggest hospitals, the F. D. Roosevelt University Hospital in Banská Bystrica, is referring to is what his patients have been through in the pandemic.
In an interview with The Slovak Spectator, Patarák reveals the effect the global coronavirus outbreak has had on the lives of people suffering from severe psychiatric illnesses, and exactly when society as a whole reached “breaking point” and lost what unity it had to fight the spread of the virus.
“What we all need is to live in reality and be able to come to terms with it,” Patarák told The Slovak Spectator. “We can stage childish protests and throw ourselves on the floor, or we can be adults about it, control our emotions and point them in some constructive direction.
“That is what mental health is about. And the pandemic is the kind of phenomena that tests our personal disposition: what we are like.”
A honeymoon that lasted too long