1 May 2020
Medical casualties aren’t the only consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic. The economic damage, its impact on our mental state, interpersonal relationships, and communities at large – they’re all victims. This isn’t surprising to all of us. A few years go, Bill Gates, described his biggest fear in an interview with Vox. He was highly concerned about the inability of the human race to battle an impending war with epidemics. He said, “The fact that there was no catastrophic pandemic in recent history does not mean there will not be any. And we are certainly not prepared for the next pandemic.”
It’s true – we’ve been caught fairly unprepared. As we struggle to balance working from home with potential threats to our careers, it’s our mental health that seems to be taking the biggest hit. And we’re not alone in this scenario. It’s especially hard for healthcare workers and others on the frontline during these times – who must endanger their health to ensure ours.
To understand how to best emerge out of this, perhaps we should recap how we got here in the first place:
January 2020: The outbreak of a new coronavirus was declared to be an international concern by the World Health Organization(WHO).
February 2020: There was a rising concern of the coronavirus disease, termed COVID-19, spreading around the globe.
April 2020: A majority of the human population is under partial or complete lockdown.
March 2020: COVID-19 is declared as a pandemic.
With extended lockdowns, the stress in such troubled times is inevitable. Prolonged stress can hamper your ability to take care of yourself and others. So the fear of the disease and the mounting pressure owing to the uncertainty about the times ahead warrants the need to give your mental health the first priority. After all, the last thing we need in times like these is more reasons for stress and anxiety. This would lead to strained relationships, lowered productivity, and an overall general sense of dissatisfaction.
The first and foremost advice to heed is to stop excessively divulging yourself in the topic itself. With an exponential increase in the information about COVID-19 doing the rounds over the internet, it is easy to lose track of time reading articles and watching videos about the widespread disease. You don’t necessarily need to know the death toll or the number of new cases every day. We’ve established beyond doubt that COVID-19 is exceedingly dangerous. It’s why we have a lockdown in the first place! Constant news loops can cause distress and elevate anxiety at an exponential rate. For your mental well being, it is essential to minimize listening, watching, and reading news about COVID-19. Refrain from indulging in updates to once or twice a day.
In addition to reducing your own stress, refraining yourself from overindulging in the information about the coronavirus disease can also help you to not fall victim to rumors and misinformation. Such information, which is untrue and potentially harmful, would only cause more discomfort. Always get facts from trustworthy sources. These will filter out the rumors from the facts. This practice should keep your stress levels in check.
It might even prevent embarrassment if you happen to forward or propagate potentially misleading news that is later fact-checked!
Thirdly, stop stigmatizing anything and everything. It is cumbersome for yourself and others. Don’t harbor stigma about certain ethnic groups or infected people in your area. It is important to be empathetic to the affected rather than condemning them for being sick. Remember – these tough times pass, they will be the same as us minus the infection.
While you practice social distancing, we’d highly recommend you keep in frequent virtual contact with your neighbors, friends, and distant relatives. Such interactions would hopefully distract your thoughts from the grim reality and divert your attention in the best ways. Feel free to play cards and board games over video calls or have an indoor movie night and karaoke sessions. Additionally, these interactions ensure great community support allowing for quick assistance in case of emergencies.
Sharing experiences of people who have recovered, discussing the innovative ways they are coping with situations, fun activities kids are indulging in while at home are some of the share-worthy content that you must surely spread around.
You could even consider some form of art of your preference – do you want to write? Make music? Perhaps shoot a video in the challenging confines of your home? Every opportunity and idea is up for grabs!
Simply put, you can sail through these rough tides by maintaining a positive outlook. As days go by and the lockdown continues, money may soon become a concern. Online instant loan apps are possible solutions you can look into at an early stage. The application takes minimal time while the cash transfer is done within minutes. And they are accessible without endangering your lives.
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