We’ve all come to terms with the recent and life-changing COVID-19 outbreak, a pandemic disease that has impacted societies globally and is still weighing in the lives of each individual so much that our concept of “normal” has been skewed. Governments all around the world, under the knowledgeable guidance of the WHO, had to take harsh decisions which led to lock-downs of entire Countries in the hope that this would limit and reduce the transmission rate of the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for COVID-19. Along with lock-down restrictions came the new concepts of “social distancing” and “personal protection” which societies had to learn quickly, and which played a part in slowing down and confining the outbreak. Currently, there is no cure, no antiviral drugs that have been deemed 100% effective in the treatment of the virus, and there is no vaccine, though the race to produce one started almost immediately. Therefore, the newly discovered importance of using PSD’s (Personal Safety Devices), being more mindful of personal hygiene, and enacting social distancing almost like a dogma, now that most countries are out of lock-down-mode and activities are reprising in almost all sectors, are the only expedients we can rely on. The mantra has become: wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, protect yourself with PSD’s and limit your exposure to others. It may sound simplistic, but these contrivances are enormously helpful and important. Reducing overall transmission will protect the most vulnerable members of our communities and keep the healthcare system functioning, as it would otherwise be clogged with thousands of individuals requiring medical attention because of COVID-19 complications. We, individually, are no longer making decisions for only ourselves, because we now must consider that our personal behavior may impact everyone around us and, in turn, everyone around everyone else. Social distancing needs to be understood as actually enacting physical distancing; it does not mean social isolation. Social support, in fact, helps healing wounds (both physical and related to the mind) caused by the extremely long period of isolation we were forced to in a way that is unprecedented for our generation. Whereas many might have suffered from minor issues impacting their bodies, like weight-gain and muscle-tone loss, which are all direct consequences of being unable to keep fit during the lock-down, the most alarming social emergencies were found to be all related to states of depression and chronic panic many, multitudes, developed during the coerced estrangement. Our minds had to cope with an unprecedented threat that has caused a drastic change in ingrained habits (our normality) as well as an atavic fear of becoming sick and, perhaps even worse, be the cause of your loved ones’ sickness. Unfortunately, for as long as the virus will continue to circulate, we are all called to respect governments’ dictated measures to contain the infection. Amusingly enough, we (humankind) adapt well and the unusual is soon becoming the new normal. And this gives us all hope for a better future ahead.
WHO is giving advice on how to protect ourselves and others:
Be SAFE from coronavirus infection
Be SMART and inform yourself about it
Be KIND and support one another
Visit https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public for further info and tips we hope will help you, your friends and your family to protect yourself and others from the spread COVID-19, advice on the safe use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, to stay physically active, eating healthy, and to look after your mental health at a time when there is much discussion of potential threats to our physical health.