MP talk

Corona, corona, corona. 

That’s the only thing we have heard in the last few months. Normally, even in the midst of crises, the still-positive sports news keeps rolling. 

Corona there and corona here.

It is understandable that a new virus such as corona can cause a lot of concern. Many are worried about how the world and our country will get through this. In a lot of cases, the concern is about one’s own everyday life. All of these feelings are acceptable, and everyone experiences this kind of situation differently.

Corona has already changed our everyday life significantly. Basic routines have changed. Worry and the unknown may cause anxiety. You might worry about your own or your loved one’s health. For many, there are also concerns about loneliness and livelihoods. Restrictions and the strain of coronavirus can also cause frustration and rebellion.

In this situation, there are more questions than answers. The situation is unprecedented and exceptional for all of us. Emotions can be very powerful. And there is certainly no right or wrong way to deal with the corona crisis. 

In recent months, I have received at least hundreds of messages, phone calls, and other communications. All of them very different. Some have been angry. Some desperate. Some have felt unconcerned and reckless. Many are also really distressed. Many people also experience feelings of powerlessness. However, the connecting factor in all of these is concern. 

It is important for us adults to monitor how our loved ones react to the situation. The elders’ situation can be heartbreaking. Small children can also react in many different ways. And I myself am also concerned about the well-being of teenagers. The delicate part of pre-adulthood can be a fierce experience when you can't see your friends or even your first crush.

It’s a good idea to talk with the kids about corona. It’s helpful to understand how to protect against the disease but also how sick persons are treated. The concern must be accepted, even if the virus is harmless to most people. Schools and municipalities are here to help. Curators and psychologists are available. They will give advice and help if a kid is reacting strongly about the news and the restrictions. News can also be limited in homes. Kids don’t need to hear everything.

So, let's keep in touch with the people closest to us and support each other. It is important to protect those at risk, but 'closeness’ can also be demonstrated and at a distance. It is also worth teaching the grandparents how to meet through video calls. Now you can and should spend time together with remote connections.

At the same time, let us remember that anyone can get corona. Those who suffer it now should be treated with compassion. The virus is not a cause of guilt.

Like the President said: We should take physical distance but spiritual closeness.


Timo Heinonen

Member of Parliament, National Coalition Party

This article was written for MP Talk, a regular column from the Helsinki Times in which Members of Parliament are encouraged to contribute their thoughts and opinions. All opinions voiced are entirely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Helsinki Times. 

Adam Oliver Smith - HT (Ed.)