Chikungunya….

Chikingunya Mosquito – the mosquito that brought a nation to its knees…

The tale of the chikingunya virus is, it seems ongoing…I’m sure you’re all wondering how this relates to coaching, I know Kel is. Well you see on this journey of self-discovery that I am taking through coaching and by following my dream of opening my own coaching practice and being the best coach I can be, I’ve come to realise that there are challenges that aren’t so easy to overcome.  The chikingunya virus is one of them. I’ve also realised that it has had such an impact on me that I’ve felt compelled to write about it.

The chik v (as it is ‘affectionately’ known) has had an enormous impact not just on me but on Jamaican society. There are even a number of songs about it, my favourite by far is the one by ‘Wayne J’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Chd8VfScmJA and a dance too. It’s not all laughs though.

It’s been over a month now since I’ve ‘recovered’ from the virus and yet it still hurts to type at times, the simplest of tasks take much longer than expected and my new walk, is a true indicator that for me the effects are worse in the morning and in the afternoon. So what have I learnt? I’ve learnt to be patient, with myself and others, don’t get me wrong I had prepared myself for things taking longer when I moved to Jamaica from the UK, the chik v has taken it to an entirely new level.

I was lucky, I was only in bed for 3 days and although the pain has stayed in my fingers, ankles and the soles of my feet, I have been able to manage the residual pain through over-the-counter painkillers and today I only had to take one, although I must admit its the fatigue that seems to be hitting at the moment. As well as the fatigue, there is a fuzziness – you might be able to tell by my writing (no plan used here). I find that I am over emotional and for me, I’m usually very self contained and controlled, that’s saying a lot. This fuzziness though makes it difficult to stay on track with writing, which doesn’t help when one is doing a Masters or writing business proposals.

Everyone I know that’s had it and that’s almost everybody I know, have had different symptoms, which makes having the virus even more frustrating. I’m truly one of the lucky ones, a number of people have suffered from complications due to pre-existing conditions and some haven’t been so lucky. For those families and friends that have lost loved ones my heart goes out to you.

What is obvious is that we were not prepared for the impact of this virus, it has spread through the country and we still do not know the full impact it will have on the Jamaican population. The virus highlighted our need, as a community, as a country to be more aware of how we promote environments for virus such as this to spread. I am sure there are those that would say there is nothing that we could have done…I say let’s take a closer look at the environment that we live in and how we treat it. Let’s look at the gullies, filled with garbage, the roadsides, the empty lots with containers collecting water – breeding ground for a number of things, including our chik v mosquito. Should we wait for the government to get involved, oh sorry they’re busy, with their newly purchased amusement park.

Let us together start, let us look at the communities that we live in, the communities that we work in, let’s share knowledge, experiences, good practice and make those little changes that together will have a huge impact…okay tirade over. Going to empty any flower pot containers collecting water as the rain has now stopped.

Tune in next time for a blog more related to coaching….

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