Coronavirus Mental Health: Is This The End Of Life?
The coronavirus, now known as COVID19, is a big issue. The question that affects most people about the coronavirus on mental health is what if I’m infected, and it suddenly seems to be the end of my life? Well, as I’m writing this post today, the numbers of infections are rising rapidly, and everyone is so fearful of it because – there seems to be no cure. All scientists in the world are working hard to solve it, but no one has come out with a “eureka” moment yet.
Is Coronavirus The COVID19?
No, it is not. There was some misconception when some people spotted the label on a bottle of Dettol can eliminate coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a sizeable family of viruses that are popular in both humans and animals. Experts have discovered there are presently seven strains of human coronaviruses in the world. Four of these species are common and located in Wisconsin and elsewhere around the world. These universal human coronaviruses typically cause a mild to moderate respirational sickness. Sometimes, new coronaviruses emerge…which brings us to this present time.
What Is The Latest Coronavirus Disease?
This latest newly discovered coronavirus disease that happened in 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious virus. It is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (also known as SARS-CoV-2). Health professionals are concerned because they do not know much about this latest respiratory disease, and it can trigger severe illness and pneumonia in some individuals.
How did the coronavirus “COVID19” start?
The coronavirus disease was initially discovered in 2019 in Wuhan, Central China. It was in the form of pneumonia, which was mysterious and unknown, detected in Wuhan, China. They then reported it to the WHO (World Health Organization) Country Office in China on 31 December 2019. Reports say it originated from a unique market in Wuhan that sells exotic meat like bats, snakes, and even dogs. (Ok, eww). WHO declared a name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19 on 11 February 2020 (Previously, experts describe this virus as the “2019-nCoV” or”2019 Novel Coronavirus.”)
Since then, there were several lockdowns all over the world (starting from Wuhan and some areas in China), but the virus has spread globally, causing in the alarming 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.
What Are The Common Symptoms Of Coronavirus “COVID19”?
The COVID-19 virus is not like the other coronaviruses that generally circulate among people and cause mild sickness, like the common cold. It is quite severe and causes complications, especially if you have other underlying diseases beforehand. These symptoms can occur 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation phase of MERS-CoV viruses). You can self-evaluate if you have:
- Fever, cough, headaches, and shortness of breath.
- May experience constant pressure or pain in the chest
- Muscle soreness, sore throat, and sputum production are less joint.
- There are reports on gastrointestinal signs such as diarrhea too.
- Did you come in close contact (3m-1m) with someone infected with the COVID19?
While most cases result in mild symptoms, several have progressed to severe pneumonia and multi-organ failure. As the latest report of 20 March 2020, the death rates per total of diagnosed cases is 4.1%. Nevertheless, it varies from 0.2% to 15% subject on the person’s age and other health problems
What If You Are Infected, And It Suddenly Seems Like The End Of Your Life
So, coming to the coronavirus mental health support, especially when the most challenging question that we hope no one will have to ask is “what if I am infected,” and it suddenly seems like the end of life” as we know it. It’s a valid one, though.
If you really have caught this virus or think you have, it can be scary. It will affect our mental health because it’s so tangible and real. As someone who has been infected:
- Keep yourself isolated and stay away from others – at all costs: It is highly possible that you may have also affected your loved ones and people whom you know. Therefore, it’s best to stay isolated and keep them safe. Stay home and do not wander anywhere else.
- Mental Health: You may have a sense of guilt and go in a vicious circle of self-blame. It’s normal, but you can manage it and focus on getting better first.
- Call for medical assistance: Check with your local authorities on the hotlines to contact for medical assistance. They would also have a checklist of questions to ask you to confirm the symptoms and guide you on the next steps to take to help yourself.
- Seek medical attention: If you have to go to a hospital, avoid public transportation like taxies or ridesharing. It would be best to contact the hospital for an ambulance service where they would have the proper equipment and know-how to handle your logistics safely.
- Hospital, only if you must: Hospitals have now reported that there are not enough beds and especially respirators to cater to the sudden surge in incoming patients. There have even been reports of new isolation centres to be set up to help with the containment and treatment. If you really cannot breathe on your own and need medical attention, then you should if – if not, please think of others, especially the elderly who may need more medical care because they cannot care for themselves.
- Facemask: Wear a facemask if you are sick. It helps contain the virus and keeps it away from spreading to others, especially your loved ones.
- Strictly no sharing: Do not share meals, clothing, or anything at all. Physical sharing is not caring at this present moment. Keep to the social distancing rule and avoid any physical touch at all.
When everything settles down with the coronavirus mental health wellbeing is something we can manage during such times. Of course, this applies to those who:
- Have actually been diagnosed with the COVID19,
- Suspected that you have it (maybe waiting for test results).
- Have family or friends who have been affected or
- Well, with no symptoms but worried about the situation and currently under the current social distancing order.
It’s Not The End Of The World
Yes, it’s really not the end of the world. Yes, there are many reported cases. The number of actual deaths is also rising, but there are many recoveries as well. During the time of coronavirus mental health wellbeing is important. It’s time for us to grab this fear by the neck and look at things positively. Here are some things that you can do:
- Manage our emotions: There are many things that we cannot control. However, managing our emotions is something we can do. We can choose to have a growth mindset and look at things from the “glass half full” perspective. It helps us keep a optimistic outlook on things in contrast with worries and stress. It’s not helpful to be worried as it lowers our immunity and our mental wellbeing.
- Locate the best place to stay: If you are not infected, do you have a family member or friend who would be happy to accommodate you? If you need to be in self-isolation, you may need to remain at home in your room strictly. Avoid any close contact with anyone so that you will curb the virus only to yourself and keep safe the health of your loved ones or helpers.
- Eat and stay well hydrated: Eat plenty of healthy food and always keep your throat wet (15 minutes rule). Find out if you can access the food delivery system if you do not have anyone to help with cooking and preparing meals. Eat at regular hours – even if you don’t have the mood to do so. You need to be strong for yourself and others at this challenging moment.
- Medication: You might want to try to order repeat prescriptions by phone. Some apps app or website might be able to help (depends on area and location) if your medical centre offers this. Ask your pharmacy about getting your medication delivered or ask somebody else to collect it for you. This should be possible, although if it’s a regulated drug, the pharmacy might ask for identity proof. Caution: only buy from registered pharmacies to avoid scam traps. (I really don’t know why some people would do something like this in such time of need)
- It’s OK to feel anxious: It is OK to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed during this situation. However, do know that you are already in the process of taking small steps towards betterment. Meditating in such times helps calm you down and clear distracting thoughts that pull you towards helplessness. Turn to God for help and prayers. They do help.
- It’s normal to feel chaotropic or trapped: You can try to open the window to let fresh air and sunlight in. Perhaps spend some time to appreciate what you see outside and observe your surroundings. Look at the sky and the environment around you. It creates you a feel of space and helps you feel better.
- Continue accessing treatment: Check if you could have appointments by text, phone, video, or online. E.g., this could be with your therapist, counselor, or support operative.
- Managing your immediate environment: If you are going to stay home, it would be helpful to keep things clean and tidy. A clean environment is good for the eyes, and it helps your mind be at ease too. Clean the house, do the laundry, keeping clean are all important things to keep the virus checked and cause your mind to see things orderly also. It gives you a sense of control and more confidence in yourself.
- Spread positivity: There’s so much fake news, doom, and gloom flying around today. Be it Facebook, WhatsApp, Line, WeChat, or any other social media platform. The least we can do is only to share positive and helpful beneficial things so that we may empower others too.
- Spend time well and stay connected: Since you have a lot of time (not by choice), you might as well spend it well. It’s time to read that meaningful book, write that letter or book, try poetry, spend quality family time (if you can meet if not via video if you’re in self-isolation), or even binge on Netflix shows you have wanted to. Do anything to keep yourself positive and happy.
- Manage how you spend time on the media: Bad news is everywhere, so why not choose to consume something more positive. It helps brighten your mood and also keep things light – which is right for your “mind” being.
- If you ok, support others: If your OK, it’s time to help others. Perhaps you could send them positive messages or even cheer them on in your way. Yes, we must strictly abide by the “no contact” rule, so try to find creative ways to get your message across. I know a friend who keeps posting updates on COVID19 news to spread awareness, especially to senior folks who might know what’s going on.
- What if: It’s now a great time to take out your journal or thinking cap to imagine what would do after this pandemic end. Using this coronavirus mental health article as a check list will help you envision what you want to do when you are able and well. What if it was really the end of the world…is there anything you wanted to do to leave this world without regrets? Instead of being helpless, it’s time to prepare right now mentally.
My friend, I sincerely hope that this coronavirus mental health support sharing has helped you. For those who might be infected, and it may suddenly seem like the end of your life, but don’t worry. This, too soon, will pass, and normal life will go on. We just got to keep believing and keep the faith. This COVID19 has also brought the gift of appreciation the freedom and confidence of walking around mingling with people easily. I personally feel that this virus doesn’t end here; there would probably be more coming in the future. We can and must work hard to restore this for our children and their children too.
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