Man Does Not Live by Tissue Alone
Coronavirus has changed our world. It's ironic that with the surge in hand hygiene because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen increases in mental health issues. And the worst part about this is, it's a worldwide phenomenon.
It's a pandemic, and most of us have never seen any pandemic of such magnitude.
Coronavirus is a big deal. It affects you, and it's time for everyone to recognize the vulnerabilities of the human body and adopt the recommended strategies to keep safe.
The Protective Measures
The measures recommended to prevent catching or spreading COVID-19 can only be useful if we take a healthy view of them.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer
- Don't touch your face since the virus enters through your nose, mouth or eyes
- Prevent the spread of potentially contaminated fluid when coughing or sneezing by covering your mouth with a tissue or bent elbow
- Maintain a distance of 1 meter or more with people who are sneezing or coughing
- Seek medical care as soon as possible if you suspect illness
- follow directives given by your government e.g. stay at home, wear masks and so on.
The Mental Health Issues
Anxiety and worry are normal feelings at such a time. This disease is extremely contagious, has resulted in deaths, and is causing a cocktail of negative social and economic impacts in our world. Well, although cleaning agents and tissues have become more profitable to the manufactures and sellers, the threat that COVID-19 poses is real.
Anxiety, fear, panic, grief, and isolation due to COVID-19 are taking a toll on people. Some countries have already registered some cases of coronavirus-related suicides.
There is also an increase in criminal behaviour since many workplaces have shut down, but people have to get on with life.
Also, the pandemic has created green pastures for fraudsters who benefit from your anxiety. Promises of fake cures or protection against the virus, fake products, fake news... there's no end to the scams.
And then, the panic buying—sanitizers, disinfectants, soap, and tissues.
“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative.”— H.G. Wells
Adapting in the Time of Coronavirus
Taking a Healthy View of Change
Handwashing is nothing new. We have always been advised to wash our hands with soap and water. It's just that we have not been doing it as frequently as we should have, on a global scale. We have been taking this hygiene routine for granted. Now, it has become a necessity. Some celebrities are taking advantage of the situation and using handwashing as an opportunity to brag and get some praises.
Wash the virus off while it's still outside because once it gets inside the body, soap cannot protect you anymore. The ordinary task of washing your hands has become an activity to fill your life with a sense of achievement.
Panic buying and stocking up too much product, for instance, is not a healthy view. You are not alone in this, the whole world (even to the remotest parts) is trembling under coronavirus.
Relationships and Love in the Midst of Coronavirus
Let's not forget the value of love, social connections, and other people in our lives. Even strangers help us to survive, knowingly or unknowingly. We need our doctors and nurses who are at the frontline of fighting this disease. We need supermarkets to be open so we can get food.
Life has been tough, but fairly good. We could show each other love and friendship through the sense of touch: hugs, kisses, and the universal handshake.
Life has changed. Forgoing these rituals of connection is now an act of love.
Relationships shouldn't be breaking because "there's no intimacy anymore." They should be getting stronger because no intimacy is the greatest form of love you can show your loved one, especially after you go back home from a public place.
On the other hand, isolation can lead to loneliness and a sense of being caged. Keep in touch. The COVID-19 impact on mental health is not like other mental health issues whereby people have no clue what you are going through. This is something that has infiltrated conversations beyond all discriminatory borders of race, age, sex, status, or culture. We are all going through this.
Let's not forget, we cannot live on soap and tissue alone. We need love and connections. Keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones.
If you have people in your life who have been previously having problems with their mental health, please be kind and considerate to them and keep checking on them with assurance so that the isolation will not overwhelm them.
We need hope and courage. We also need other people to take precautionary measures as we are doing the same. Let's continue sharing stories of hope. This is not the first time humanity is facing a pandemic. At least this time we have some advanced technology and medicine.
What if You or Your Loved One is Already Infected?
According to the data from the World Health Organization, and other reputable sources, there have been some successful recoveries. Be supportive and cooperative with the health workers even though it might seem difficult.
Even though the future might seem bleak and uncertain, you don't have to be reckless or go crazy because of it. Like many other diseases, some variables are beyond your control. doing your part in ensuring the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 can make you stronger and more hopeful.
Coronavirus Mental Health: Quick Tips
The following suggestion can help lower your anxiety and coronavirus stress.
- Follow the universally recommended precautions and stay safe
- Take care of your basic needs - it's tough on many of us now, but try to eat healthily and avoid sedentary lifestyle through physical exercises to keep your immunity strong
- Stay informed about the virus and directions in your area from reliable sources
- Avoid sharing unreliable information or believing in conspiracy theories
- Limit social media exposure-you don't need daily updates of numbers (unless you are a researcher or journalist)
- Stay calm and continue taking care of yourself and loved ones
- Focus on the present. Being thankful (for your life and the protective measures we've been guided to take) can help with that.
- When experiencing overwhelming and strong negative emotions, contact loved one or seek professional help.
Finally, I would like to share a poem with you. I wrote it some years back and it just resonates with the current situation right now. We are hoping for the best and the fact that coronavirus fear will be over soon. I hope you'll enjoy this poem.
We hope for eternity
We hope for relief
We hope for peace
We hope for change
Our hopes shattered
Our hopes shredded
Our hopes shambled
Our hopes shortened
We still hope not to die
We still hope not to ail
We still hope to be calm!
We still hope to be fine
Our hopes resourced
Our hopes reinforced
Our hopes reacquired
Our hopes recovered
From Piece of Mind: Everyone has an untold story by Centfie Valrie.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Centfie