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Dealing With Dreams About Coronavirus

Man dreaming


“I was in bed and felt sick to death, I had a sore throat and it felt like I had a huge fever.” The above dream belongs to Linda Duits, and she is not the only one dreaming about the coronavirus. On Twitter, dozens of people share their corona dreams and talk about تفسير حلم (interpretation of a dream).

When German woke up, she soon realized that it was just a bad dream. “I woke up with the idea that I had the coronavirus and had to make sure that I would be cared for by others. But of course, there was nothing wrong.”

Primal fear

Magdaleen van Eersel also had a number of corona dreams. She writes down her dreams when she is awake. “I see my dreams not only as an observation but also as advice.”

Van Eersel’s corona dreams started when the virus received a lot of attention in the media. That people dream about the coronavirus is not surprising, says healthcare psychologist Gijs Coppens. “The corona crisis is an event that affects us throughout the day and it has an emotional charge. If something makes a big impression, you start dreaming about it, that’s a processing mechanism. It also makes a lot of sense because it’s scary, big and it’s about our neighbors and our existence.”

Coppens works for the OpenUp.care platform and offers free corona care. About a thousand people a day call Coppens and his colleagues for help. “In your dreams, you are partly processing and partly it is your subconscious. It is a primal instinct, a kind of fear of survival. Your primal fear says: ‘I don’t want to get sick’. And that is what this corona dream appeals to.”

Van Eersel’s dream does not scare her. “In my dream, I was in a shop and I saw a beautiful scarf and there were buttons on it. I thought it was very beautiful but left it anyway. When I woke up, I realized it looked like the corona symbol. It is a hopeful dream for me because I did not turn the scarf over. The dreams tell me that I don’t have to be worried because I’m always gone on time. I need that too because I find it very exciting.”


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Corona fishing

Not only adults have to deal with corona dreams. Children can also dream about the virus. Heleen Makkinga’s six-year-old daughter dreamed about “fish spitting corona balls.”

A few days later, she dreamed that she was shot by a friend with a gun filled with corona and would die from it. Makkinga: “You hear it in the middle of the night. Then she wakes up and is half asleep. You notice that there is more going on at such a moment than you initially think.”

The next day, Makkinga discussed the dream with her toddler. According to dream coach Wim Kaizer, that is the best way to deal with a corona dream. Kaizer: “In your dreams, there is no limit, what you actually feel comes up.”

‘Scary dreams are part of it’

What also works well according to the dream coach is to draw a dream. “That helps to manage a hidden fear and make it more portable.”

Kaizer helps people to understand their dreams. “The most important advice is to talk about it calmly with each other, to make it negotiable.”

This is a piece of advice that psychologist Coppens endorses. “It starts with giving up resisting your dream. See that dream as part of your processing process. Dreaming is part of it, and scary dreams too. Establish for yourself: I dreamed, it was very scary, but this is apparently part of it. Try to reassure yourself instead of saying you don’t want to dream like that anymore.”

According to Coppens, it could also help to reconstruct your dream when you are awake. “It can help to think of a different ending for your dream, how would you like the dream to end? They are not guarantees, but there is a chance that the dream will repeat itself and that there will be a different end to it.”