In the midst of the worst pandemic to hit the world in just over a century, it’s been entirely natural to focus on the coronavirus itself. After all, it’s a new threat, and one that until the turn of the year few of us had even given brain space to. And don’t be in any doubt, this virus is something we need to take extremely seriously – not least because we have little to no idea how this pandemic will eventually play out – but its dominance of the news cycle has other dangers.
Being health-conscious is always important, but it goes without saying that it comes to our attention more in the heart of a pandemic. The key thing for those of us who don’t have a media pulpit, or political power, is to make sure we can take care of ourselves and our loved ones, and a major part of doing so is in making sure that we don’t lose focus on other things. Below, we’ll go into some of the potential side-issues raised by this pandemic.
Don’t avoid the doctor for other concerns
It’s easy to get the impression that doctors and hospitals are so swamped by Covid-19 that they can’t deal with anything else right now. Additionally, with the risk of transmission from patients who are in hospital, some people are avoiding seeking medical treatment if their symptoms don’t match the profile of the virus – and this includes people who may have life-threatening conditions such as cancer.
However, this carries its own risks. Conditions other than Covid-19 are still making people ill, and worse – and they need to be treated. If you are feeling ill, report your symptoms to a doctor by phone or video call. In cases of cancer, early detection and treatment at a proton therapy center can be essential. Doctors do not want you to wait until the pandemic is over – not least because it might be with us for the foreseeable future.
Don’t let lockdown fatigue become a thing
It’s not fun to be confined to your home by quarantining measures. Although many of us have discovered upsides, been able to spend more time with loved ones and found new interests since lockdown started, it’s inevitable that there will be some sense of nostalgia for a time before the lockdown.
The more we get to see lockdown as a restriction, the sooner we are liable to engage in riskier behaviors to feel a sense of freedom. Use your stipulated shopping and exercise time to the fullest, and keep a sense of variety at home by trying out new cuisines in the kitchen or new shows on the TV. Don’t become a casualty of lockdown fatigue.
Don’t let your mental health be an afterthought
We are living through times that are all but unparalleled in living memory. No-one really knows how to deal with this, because the last time anything like this happened, it was in a time before personal computers, rolling news and telecommuting, and was hard on the heels of a World War. So there really isn’t a playbook for how to cope with a pandemic like this. It’s entirely natural if you feel bewildered by the world right now, and if your mental health takes a knock.
Be aware that there are counseling options and therapy providers you can contact and talk to online. Be open and honest with loved ones about the toll all of this is taking on you. Many of us are in the same boat and, in the absence of a better outlet, talking and letting off steam is a very good way to unite until we can beat the pandemic.
We can’t say when all of this will be over – but for life to go on as normally as possible, we need to be honest about all the things that we may be keeping a lid on during these times.