Human relationships revisited in the wake of COVID-19
Reflections of a Nigerian social worker
COVID-19 is arguably the biggest global event and challenge of the twenty-first century. As such, it is changing human attitudes and behaviours thereby challenging the age-long social work profession’s value premise of the importance of human relationships. Human relationships through the use of informal helping networks have been a very important resource in social work practice. The measures of self-isolation/quarantine and social/physical distancing being adopted to contain the spread of COVID-19 have led to changes in human relationships and modes of interaction. One wonders what life and the ‘new normal’ will look like, post-COVID-19. Using the reflective method, this paper looked at my lived experiences at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria as lessons for critical reflection for future social work practice. The paper concluded that the pandemic will forever change the patterns of human interactions. Lessons learnt as social work practitioners will aid the development of new ways for clients (individuals, families, and social groups) to live and interact with each other post-COVID-19. Inclusion of lasting emotional toll of isolation, unresolved grief, and guilt of not saying goodbye on clients was recommended as part of assessment during social work intervention post-COVID-19.