Keep calm and combat Corona
At the moment, COVID-19 is the most discussed subject matter on the internet, TV, as well as in our drawing rooms. The virus has shaken the world and left us in a panic-stricken state.
Health effects of Corona are known by everyone; however, not many people know how COVID 19 is affecting us psychologically. The mental disorders are as dangerous as the physical issues and need to
be addressed and tackled immediately.
We have to refrain from attaching any race, ethnicity, nationality, religion or place of origin to the disease. We must understand and make others aware that COVID-19 is a disease from which people are recovering despite its deadly nature. One should be compassionate with people suffering from the illness and not address them as coronavirus cases or corona- patients. A threat to identity, face loss and fear of social ostracism along with fear of losing job must be taken into account.
Media has to play a significant role in being sensitive along with building consciousness among masses. This will give rise to compliance and people will not run-away from quarantine homes. A counselling cell with mental health professionals may be set up to combat the rising fear, confusion and despair.
Now, in a lockdown-like situation, we must responsibly use the mass media. However, overexposure to the internet and the overload information is pushing our panic button, which causes distress and anxiety. We are in a habit of sending information to others without checking the authenticity. Being over receptive to corona related news, we soak it up and end up being more anxious.
It is advisable to check the updates from reliable sources and refrain from constant surfing of the internet or WhatsApp forwards.
Do the needful to fight the disease like keeping oneself clean and maintaining distance. Remind each other of our public health protocol and spread success stories of patients, doctors and nurses and all health care providers.
Drawing up a new daily schedule is an interesting task, allowing you to do a lot many things you 'never got time for' would also be great.
Further, spending time in a lockdown situation can be stressful. Let's make it a detox of mind and body with little distraction from outside. Light exercise, healthy diet, home-cooked food, sleep and spending time with your loved ones should be in the priority list. Engage the children in household chores and help inculcate new hobbies.
Take care of your mental health and feel free to connect to a psychologist or a mental health care provider in case you feel depressed.
(The author is a Clinical
Psychologist, Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata)
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