Covid pastoral narrative responses

This page is reserved for pastoral and narrative responses to Covid-19. You are welcome to to join the WhatsApp group and, or send responses by sending an email to (an automatic reply responds with the link to the WhatsApp group. We’d like to hear of any stories, videos, pastoral or narrative therapeutic questions in response to Covid-19. Pastoral and narrative guest blogging is possible. Any suggestions are welcome.

Vulnerable and fragile


The idea of reframing is often part of the more encompassing notion of reauthoring in narrative work – reauthoring of our lives and relationships that becomes our new or preferred story and how/who we want to be in the world.

What spreads faster than the virus.

Unpacking Covid in sculpture

Unique outcomes

A concern in the narrative community has been noted that people may be romanticising the various lockdown responses (such as with singing on balconies). To what extent does this represent a class privilege?

Lived wisdom on panic, worry and isolation

Dulwich centre: ” Some of us were thinking during this period of global concern with COVID-19 about the idea of knowledges earned through difficult experiences that might be useful to lend to others. We considered how the mental health consumer/survivor/ex-patient (c/s/x) community doesn’t often have the chance to share the hard won expertise learned through traversing challenging life experiences with folks in other contexts where it might be useful. […] So we called out for contributions of special knowledges around these things from our c/s/x community. ” Read more

The document can be downloaded directly from Dulwich here.

Children creating a guide for parents.

From Dulwich Centre here: “Inspired by Mehmet Dinc, from Turkey, a number of narrative practitioners have consulted children  in their lives to create a guide for parents during lockdown.”

The first draft document can be accessed here.

For believers ‘joy’ is part of the alternative story

Pastoral and narrative questions to consider

  • What is the story/ies of humanity that you see developing? How do you contribute to that?
  • How are we being invited to look at care differently; particularly in the helping professions (counselling, psychology, coaching)?
  • Recognising vulnerability of certain groups and demographics what is the conversation you are having with yourself, family, community, God on privilege?
  • What do you regard as responsible and ‘obedient to God’ theology/faith in this time? What are the effects of your answer on fellow believers and people who don’t believe as you do?
  • During unpredictable and out of the ordinary periods, the situation calls forth identities that may have taken a back seat or were even forgotten. What view of yourself, who you have been at different times, and skills and qualities that you’ve used in the past are being called on?
  • How can Covid-19 help us enlarge our understanding and experience of living in community?
  • What are the therapeutic narratives [discourses, topics, concerns] that most find a voice in this time?
  • Much of what people describe as problems to them now (e.g., Anxiety) are not new. How are things different now?
  • What are some of the tactics that you consider Corona are employing to get it’s wishes met? (What would Corona say is its wish?)
  • What emotions (or ideas about the world) are running the show that leads people to react in certain ways? Why do you think?
  • How do you see people connecting in ways that bring people and communities closer in spirit that they haven’t done prior to Covid-19?
  • In what way do you consider humanity sharing or suggesting creative activities for during lockdown, unique outcomes? Are the suggestions in and of itself a unique outcome? Why?
  • Some of [these] he questions on the website made me think about the big things that we can reclaim in this time, and I am practicing / trying to apply that even as I do my project work from home with colleagues off-site:) 😊. I have thought of some questions from an “near” perspective (as it touches my own life and experiences)? What I’m thinking about:

Confirming your contribution to act against this Corona COVID-19 virus:
o What is your contribution towards your own health and safety and care and security and food and shelter in gearing up for the lock down?
o What abilities did you use that surprised you?
o Where in your youth/ childhood did you first start exercising the this ability?
o Who guided you to do so? Perhaps a mother/ grandfather/ teacher who gave you a task to do and watched try and try again and succeed?

  1. Acknowledging the wisdom of older people, who also happens to be the most fragile and lonely:
    o What OLDER people can we connect to that was there when the [other epidemics] hit [the country] and all schools and sports activities were cancelled?
    o What stories do these people have to tell?
    o What was horrible about that? And how did you survive Horribleness? Say sports was your only best thing at the time, how did you find alternative pleasure/ exercise?
    o How did you deal with the Isolation and what tips can you offer young people of today; those who did not suffer in [those epidemics] and may benefit from your wisdom? What of this wisdom can you apply now [in your situation]f?

Theological reflection and questions

Please remember, and be respectful of, that people’s theological/ faith lenses differ considerably. Faith can help (be, or be part of, the alternative story) or it can hurt.

  • What does the Bible say about the Corona virus?
  • Joint statement a call to work together
  • During times like this many people would say that God is ‘punishing us.’ One of the challenges is that with everything happening (droughts, pandemic, and other forms of hardship) it leads to a perspective of God then always seen to be punishing. How do we reconcile an understanding of God being loving with one that is (by implication when looking at pandemics, droughts, and more) as ‘always’ punishing. What should shift in our understanding of God?

Theological agency, neighbourliness, unquestioned commitments

Pastorale sleutels vir ‘n Covid 19 grendeltyd -[Afrikaans]

Contributions related to economy [Afrikaans]

Homelessness and COVID-19: Political, institutional and theological capacities and priorities

Narrative or related resources

Corona externalised with the #Covibook: Supporting and reassuring children around the world. [Presented in several languages. English here.

Narrative practices in times of uncertainty.


Article on small business debt relief and the official site here.

SA Covid-19 hotline: 0800 111 132 | 0800 029 999 (Note potentially high call volumes)

Coram Deo counselling online: Free for those specifically and adversely affected by Covid-19.

Interesting (” We wanted people to be able to see this as something that brings us all together. It’s not one country, or another country; it’s one planet – and this is what our planet looks like today. “)

Timeline of the history of vaccines

Statistical news sources:

In narrative practice the emphasis is on rich description of the specific contexts of people’s lives. Statistics does not offer rich descriptions. Yet in national interest we include these trusted sources. We welcome any references to rich descriptions of experience in this time.

Trusted sources

You are welcome to send the links to websites and information that is seen as trustworthy and helpful in your region or country. By default we list that of South Africa adn WHO and some others.

DoH Emergency Hotline 0800-029999

DoH Whatsapp Line 0600-123456

Covid responses

  • Vrees virus
    Vrees virus
    Apr 2, 2020 by
    Nadia Swanepoel het toestemming verleen om die volgende te plaas en word hier verskaf deur gespreksgenoot Elna Esterhuyzen. Die Vrees Virus Die wêreld soos ons dit ken is oornag gekaap deur ‘n bedreiging groter as ons denke of verbeelding. Die vrees virus het alles denkbaar besmet: media,...
    Read more
  • An invitation to a family meeting
    An invitation to a family meeting
    Apr 2, 2020 by
    People respond quite different change. Many have said that having a family meeting help them rally together in the face of the Anxiety. An invitation to a family meeting I am amazed at the interaction in my house after our family meeting. Once the dark grey emotions...
    Read more
  • Covid-19 het nie die laaste sê nie
    Covid-19 het nie die laaste sê nie
    Mar 29, 2020 by
    Covid-19 het nie die laaste sê nie Hierdie gesprek het plaasgevind tussen Michaela Oberholzer en haar gespreksgenoot Elna Esterhuizen.  Michaela het toestemming verleen dat haar verhaal gepubliseer en gedeel mag word. In hierdie verhaal sien ons dat hoewel Covid-19 so baie van mense wil ontneem Covid nie...
    Read more
  • Koning van krone
    Koning van krone
    Mar 27, 2020 by
    Koning van krone Hierdie brief aan Korona geskryf deur Nadia word met toestemming en dank aan Nadia Swanepoel en gespreksgenoot Elna Esternhuysen geplaas. Die brief is ook beskikbaar om agelaai te word. 26 Maart 2020 Corona Soos ‘n dief het jy oornag inbreuk in ons lewens gemaak...
    Read more
  • Reclaiming humanity
    Reclaiming humanity
    Mar 20, 2020 by
    Reclaiming humanity I woke up when receiving a WhatsApp from Coram Deo lecturer Dr Jo, asking how Coram Care might respond to the Corona Virus. People like Dr Jo, ever so caring, reminding me to not shut down, either because sometimes I become too busy, overwhelmed, or...
    Read more