Covid19 is freaking you out ?

Has this affected your life in some way?

As the coronavirus pandemic rapidly sweeps across the world, it is inducing a considerable degree of fear, worry and concern. In our mental health terms, the main psychological impact to date is elevated rates of stress or anxiety. But as new measures are introduced – especially quarantine, lockdowns, social distancing, limited freedom and its effects on many people’s usual activities, routines, livelihoods and relationships – levels of loneliness, depression, domestic violence, financial stress, the feeling of being powerless and fear, harmful alcohol and drug use, and self-harm or suicidal behaviour are on the rise. In addition, with schools closed, there is a very real possibility of an epidemic of child abuse. Even with some of these restrictions being lifted as we move along, these leaves an aftermath of personal effects on our lives, both physically and psychologically.

The enormity of living in isolation, changes in our daily lives, job loss, financial hardship and grief over the death of loved ones has the potential to affect the mental health and well-being of many.

Even in this time of physical distancing, it’s critical to seek social support and connection with others. It’s also important to know the signs of anxiety, panic attacks, depression and suicide so you can easily identify them, not just among your family, friends and neighbors, but for yourself.

  • Know the signs of anxiety, panic attacks, depression and suicide so you can easily identify them. For more details on the warning signs, please refer to my section “Eliminate those Yukky feelings”.
  • Now more than ever, extra efforts should be made to communicate effectively. And no, not send a text or post a status on Facebook or Instagram…CALL your friend, family member, loved one. Physically speak to them, have a proper conversation. In this time of isolation, if you have the ability to do so, make a video call instead of a phone call. Video is far superior to just voice, email text or chatting on social media platforms. It will give you a sense of belonging and inclusion and let you be associated (present) in the situation instead of disassociated (non-present). It’s also a good time to brush up on your skills to be talking to others one on one, face to face instead of constantly hiding behind your keyboard and screen.

We are fast learning how to maintain some of those connections effectively, even at a distance, that we didn’t seem to use so much before. Before the pandemic broke, a lot of people had a pretty negative view of technology, recognizing that mostly what it did was enable us to stay disconnected from other people in the moment—that as we carry these phones around, that kept us from contacting folks who were nearby.

Now, though, just over the last few weeks, we’re having virtual cocktail parties! People are having virtual dinner parties between friends, playing music together, training together…Why didn’t we ever think to do this before? We could have done this for a long time, and it never occurred to us to do this….

I hope this true and real interactions with people around us, stick with us, and that we are learning through this, how to use technology for what it’s really good for, which is connecting us at a distance. If we can maintain that over the long run, then that will be a silver lining that will come out of this for all of us.

  • Pay attention to and ensure you keep connections with people who are typically marginalized and isolated, including the elderly, undocumented immigrants, homeless persons and those with mental illness.
  • It’s important to implementing routines, particularly for children who are out of school, ensuring that they have access to regular programmed work. Online substitutes for daily routines can be extremely helpful, but not all children have access to technologies that enable remote connectivity. What is needed is for them is our innovation for new approaches to ensuring structure, continuity of learning, and socialisation to mitigate the effect of short- and long-term sheltering in place.

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and efforts to contain it, represent a unique threat, and we must recognize the pandemic that will quickly follow it—that of mental and behavioral distress / illness — If we know what to expect, we can do something about it before hand and implement the steps needed to help us through it.

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