Dr. D. K. Gupta, Chairman And Managing Director, Felix Hospital
With 112359 confirmed cases in India and 3,435 fatalities in India on 21 May, 2020, India entered the list of top 15 countries with highest number of people infected by novel corona virus. The infection count of COVID 19 accounts for only 1.41 % of the total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide.
The noticeable point is that this proportion has increased from 0.13%, ie. about 536 cases from March 24, the day when the lockdown was commenced, to 0.58%, i.e. 11,487 cases when the lockdown was extended to what the current scenario is.
Still, India, a country of 1.3 billion people, has been able to manage and contain cases of COVID-19 to about 8,300, much below the global incidence rate, with negligible community-based infection due to well-executed plans and pre-emptive preventive methodology.
For many people, the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus is the hardest thing to handle. We do not know how exactly we will be impacted or how bad things might get. However, there are many things you can do to manage your anxiety and fears in this phase of crisis.
Since all modes of communication revolve around the virus. Mental health is a crucial aspect that needs to be addressed during this lock-down. These are unprecedented times.
We need to work extra hard to manage our emotions and anxiety. To cope with the anxiety, the best remedy is to recognize the fear and remember that you are not isolated in feeling insecure.
Plan your daily routines that helps in adapting quickly and managing anxiety. You can divide the time clearly as work and non-work times and keeping the same division in your headspace too.
Identifying an activity or hobby that brings you joy is also an interesting option. Also, working in short bursts with clear breaks will help to maintain your clarity of thoughts.
The other mantra to get over the situation is to focus on the things that you can control. When you feel yourself being caught up in fear of what might happen, try to shift your focus to things you can control.
For example, you cannot control how severe the coronavirus outbreak is in your city or town, but you can take steps to reduce your own personal risk such as washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, staying home as much as possible, avoiding crowded gatherings and following all the essential recommendations from health authorities.
Limit yourself to reading information only from official sources like the World Health Organisation (WHO), or reliable national sources. These credible sources of information are key to avoid the fear and panic that misinformation may cause.
The biggest thing that most people can do right now to make a positive difference is to practice social distancing. But social distancing comes with its own risks. Isolation and loneliness can exacerbate anxiety and depression, and even impact our physical health.
Make it a priority to stay in touch with friends and family. While in-person visits are limited, substitute video chatting if you’re able. Face-to-face contact is like a “vitamin” for your mental health, reducing your risk of depression and helping ease stress and anxiety.
Don’t let coronavirus dominate every conversation. It is important to take breaks from stressful thoughts about the pandemic to simply enjoy each other’s company—to laugh, share stories, and focus on other things going on in our lives.
This is an extraordinarily trying time and practicing stress management strategies apply, such as eating healthy meals, getting plenty of sleep, and meditating are the need of hour.
Beyond that, getting out in nature, finding ways to exercise and taking up relaxation practice are some other self-practicing techniques to come out of the unique disruption caused by coronavirus.
We want to feel safe and have a sense of control over our lives and well-being. Fear and uncertainty can drain you emotionally. To deal with this, let yourself experience the discomfort of uncertainty. If you allow yourself to feel fear and uncertainty, they will eventually pass.
Focus on the present moment. Breathe and allow yourself to simply feel and observe the uncertainty you are experiencing. Take some slow, deep breaths or try a meditation to keep you anchored in the present.
Another small and crucial step to come out of panic is to help others. Many local social media groups can help put you in touch with vulnerable people in your area. If you know people in your community who are isolated such as elderly people, you can still offer support.
The silver lining in the current situation is believing in the process. Believe that things will change for the good. Without the transition from day to night, we could not see stars, Whenever you find yourself in an unpleasant stat of mind, remind yourself that This too shall pass.