The COVID-19 outbreak has already had enormous effects on the U.S. The pandemic has caused mass hysteria, panic and stress on people around the country.
The explosion of COVID-19 cases has caused many states to shut down non-essential businesses, parks, beaches and other public places. Left jobless, many people are cooped up in their houses with no one to interact with. This can be damaging to people who thrive on social interaction, or to people who struggle with mental health issues.
As the number of COVID-19 cases rises, so does people’s anxiety.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, stress during the COVID-19 outbreak can include the following: fear and worry about your own health and the health of loved ones, changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, worsening chronic health problems and increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
As if worrying about the virus wasn’t enough, we’re being encouraged to practice social distancing and, if possible, staying home completely.
But the isolation and job insecurity, combined with the stress of dealing with a pandemic, could make for a toxic environment.
Social distancing can be very lonely. The COVID-19 outbreak has separated us from the rest of the outside world, plucking us from our normal day-to-day routines.
It’s important now more than ever to check in on the people you care about. Trying to deal with the stress of this situation alone seems nearly impossible. Nobody should have to deal with it alone.
There are still ways we can check in with people that don’t require us to be physically with them.
The simplest way to get some social interaction is to call or video chat people you can’t be with. Although we’re unable to connect with people face-to-face, virtually communicating can be just as effective. This can be anything from video gaming to FaceTime.
If it’s safe to do so, spend some time with one other person. Still maintain a safe distance. The CDC recommends you’re six feet from each other. Take a walk outside, or if your home is set up for it, start a new Netflix show. Both of these things allow for human interaction while practicing social distancing.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that people in isolation should “stay connected and maintain your social networks,” and to keep a daily routine as much as possible. Even though we aren’t going anywhere, getting up, taking a shower and getting dressed can work wonders for some people.
It’s an uncertain time for everyone across the U.S. right now; we’re all struggling. It’s important we take the time out of stressful days to make sure the people we care about are doing okay.