EDITOR: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how the world conducts day to day business. Although change was necessary, it can be overwhelming at times. We have to get used to the new norm of social distancing, working from home and homeschooling our children. Although this can be challenging, initially, there have been some positive things that we want to realize and embrace. We no longer have to get up early, get the children ready and sit in traffic, all before starting a full day of work. You can now get up later and spend time with your family before starting your day, without ever having to leave home. Enjoy this time and appreciate it. Instead of picking up fast food, we can now cook together as a family. Take the time to teach the kids new recipes and let them become involved. Look at this as a break that some of us truly needed. Yes, working from home can in some ways be more demanding and challenging, but it is up to you how you adapt. Do not perseverate on the challenges. Look at the positive aspects and embrace them.
Utilize them. This will lessen your anxiety and fear and help you to adapt to the new challenges that Covid-19 has brought. We are not in control of when this will end, but we are in control of how we view and adapt to these challenges. These behavioural skills will help you with the day to day challenges that you will face in the coming days. You also have to limit the amount of news that you watch. Remember, the news is going to emphasize the negative. A helpful suggestion would be to watch between 30 minutes to one hour a day, so that you can stay informed.
Then that is it. If you continually hear negative content, then this will increase your fear and anxiety. Try to either read books; listen to music, podcasts, audio books, programs; or watch television programs/documentaries on positive events/matters.
Additionally, based on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) research, there are individuals who have Covid-19 but are asymptomatic (lack symptoms) or pre-symptomatic (develop symptoms), and can transmit the virus to others without displaying any signs. Thus, spreading the infection can occur with close interactions with others, such as speaking, coughing, or sneezing, even if the person is not showing symptoms. This is why it is imperative that you adhere to the following guidelines, include STAYING AT HOME.
- Practice Self Care
- Maintain 6 – feet social distancing
- Wear a face mask – not surgical mask or N-95 respirators( simple homemade mask will work)
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap or use a hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue but dispose of it in a trash bin then wash your hands
- Cover your coughs and sneezes within your elbow (not in your hands)
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water.
- Avoid alcoholic substances (it is depression, induce anxiety and increases stress)
Remember in these unusual times we need to work together. COVID-19 does not recognize economic status, political affiliations, gender, ethnic background or geographic location. We can only survive if we are united as a country and people.
Written by: Dr. Denise Michel a Clinical Psychiatrist and Udean Mars Williams
is pursuing a doctorate
degree in International