As torturous as covid-19 is, the pandemic has been nothing short of a human experiment. While there exists a large group of people in our society that refuses to step out of their house without a mask, there are also people who go about their day as though the pandemic never happened.
In the chaos caused by the SARS-CoV-2, the biggest casualty however hasn’t been our respiratory health which this virus attacks, but our mental health—which is fragile to say the least.
After all, fear rules our mind these days. But it’s not the fear of dying of covid-19 that’s wreaking havoc; rather the fear of losing a loved one to the disease.
For many Indians the fear of a family member getting covid-19 is real
You see, a survey of 673 respondents (mainly from urban areas in the states of Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Delhi) by mental health research group Sangath found that 33% people had mild anxiety on account of the pandemic.
“Respondents are most worried about family members getting covid-19, and are least worried about dying from—or currently having—covid-19,” Sangath said as part of its release of the results of the first month of the survey which covered the period June 11 to July 10.
According to the survey nearly 38% of the respondents said they worried a great deal about family members getting infected with covid-19, while the second biggest concern was of unknowingly infecting others to which 22.9% respondents said was their primary worry.
On the contrary only 8.8% respondents said they were afraid of dying from disease while only 11% said they were afraid of contracting the disease.
The pandemic also began to impact mental health with 55% reporting anxiety, most of whom reported only mild anxiety, while 28% said they were experiencing depression ranging from moderate to severe.
Coping with this fear is very important
These are uncertain times. With lack of rapid or proper testing, not enough medical services for treatment, and a wavering restrictions to prevent the disease—the anxiety around falling members falling prey to covid-19 is rising.
But that worry and the cortisol it releases in the body can do more harm than good—including making you susceptible to covid-19 and heart disease amongst other things. Not to mention, this anxiety can seriously interfere in your ability to rise to the occasion and take care of your family.
We know it’s easier said than done, but staying positive is key to fighting this pandemic. While activities like meditation and exercise can help keep the stress and anxiety at bay, positive visualisations and consciously banning negative thoughts from your mind can help you come out of this with your mental health intact.
(With inputs from Gerard de Souza, Hindustan Times)