March 22, 2020 at 7:19 pm · K P Lanthier · Comments Off on COVID-19
Infectious diseases, like any life stressor, can challenge the way we cope. Learning about disasters on the news, from family or personal experience can evoke negative feelings, fears and anxiousness regarding our personal safety. We experience increase worry about our family, friends, colleagues, and the community. Stressful events are also known to bring up memories of past traumatic events thereby compounding the distress that we already feel.
The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is one such infectious illness that currently poses significant risk to public health. It is important to remember that it is normal to be emotionally affected by these events and that there are steps we can take to help us cope.
While people vary in their response to a crisis, like that of COVID-19, it is likely that more people will see impacts on their mental health and well being, rather than actual physical illness. Persons vulnerable to react more strongly to the threat of a crisis include:
• Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19,
• Children and teens,
• People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, such as doctors, nurses, other health care providers, and first responders,
• Persons who have mental health conditions including problems with substance use,
• Persons who tend to worry – particularly about their health, or who have experienced a previous or recent traumatic event,
• Persons who live alone or have few social supports.
Please be mindful to care for yourself, friends, and family to help ameliorate the stress overload, and help enhance a stronger community. Staying informed and taking guidance from experts to help you most accurately assess your personal risk of getting physically sick can help; or consulting expert sources such as infectious disease practitioners, family physicians or nurse practitioners, public health hotlines, or government websites.
Bermuda Government: https://www.gov.bm/health-information
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
US Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html