Skopje, 1 April 2020 (MIA) – Quarantine, isolation, and social distancing are some of the measures proven to curb the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health, Health Minister Venko Filipche posted on his Facebook profile on Wednesday.
However, the minister underlined, we can’t in these critical times neglect our mental health. He pointed out several ways how best to take care of ourselves and others in these difficult moments:
Social distancing is a measure that entails maintaining a physical distance between people and reducing the number of times people come into close contact with each other. It’s the most lenient measure that everyone should abide to.
Quarantine requires physical separation and restriction of movement of people that might have been exposed to the infection. It lasts until medial personnel determines that the exposed person does not show symptoms of the virus.
Isolation is the process of separating the sick people from the healthy ones. People are usually isolated in health facilities or in their own homes (self-isolation).
People who practice social isolation, or are quarantined, or isolated can experience unpleasant thoughts and feelings. It’s not unusual to be afraid, anxious, or concerned for your own health and the health of your loved ones. Friends or family members who are forced to be quarantined together might develop a sense of resentment.
Discomfort and irritation may also be caused by increased attention on one’s health. Taking a leave of absence from work, lower income, lack of job security, and challenges that arise from going grocery shopping may cause added worries.
Feelings that may develop in these situations include: concern over executing everyday activities while taking care of children and the elderly, anxiety over what the future could bring, loneliness due to separation from loved ones, anger due to other people’s lack of concern for others, boredom over lack of activities, foul mood, increased or decreased appetite, oversleeping or lack of sleep, as well as increased consumption of alcohol and cigarettes. However, there are ways to deal with this situation.
Listed below are things we can do to stabilize emotional states.
Take into consideration the level of risk you or your loved one might be in. People on social media, or even traditional media outlets, have different positions on the level of risk involved in these types of situations. Their opinions are likely to be incorrect and unfounded. The best thing you can do is stay up to date with current events. When you hear some news, you should always check the source of the information to make sure it comes from a relevant institution or agency.
However, avoid overexposure to news, as this might increase your anxiety. Limit the amount of information you, and especially your children, receive. For any medical advice regarding your health or the health of your loved ones, contact your family doctor via telephone, Skype, Viber, Messenger, etc.