A physician in the US treating COVID-19 developed sleeplessness not because she was witness to so many people succumbing to the virus.
Perhaps, the trauma of the bereaved families could have led her to into insomania. Also it could have been fueled by worries about own safety. Or maybe it was the possibility of the thoughts that she could bring the virus home to her children, aged 8 and 9. She was reportedly taking medication that could suppress her immune system, putting her at higher risk from the coronavirus.
With no letup in the coronavirus pandemic, it is not surprising that people especially healthcare workers like this US doctor are fatigued, anxious and stressed.
Adapting to lifestyle changes like working from home, home-schooling of children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues coupled with the fear of contracting the virus and worry about people close to us who are particularly vulnerable, are challenging for all of us.
We are struggling with loss of the joy of gatherings, hugs, handshakes, and eating together.
Adding to the worries are the likely unemployment and financial crunch. Measures like stay at home and quarantine and its effects on usual activities, routines or livelihoods are expected to take a toll on the mental health.
As the World Health Organisation suggests, “Fear is a normal reaction in situations of uncertainty. But sometimes fear is expressed in ways which are hurtful to other people”.
So do not forget to remember to be kind to others. Don’t ill treat doctors, nurses and other medical staff as they deserve our respect and gratitude. Recovered coronavirus patients also need your support and love.
If your movements are restricted, keep in regular contact with people close to you by telephone and online channels.
We are all in the midst of various problems, but we need to let that sink in. We must support each other. The only way to get out of this labyrinth is extending support to others. We all must be willing to brave through this pandemic together!