Coming out of COVID Smartly
This blog is about suggestions on how to act, feel, and respond as the country opens and we start leaving being sheltered to gradually open the country.
The first thing I have to say is that we have never been this route before. We have never had COVID-19 until late last year and I live this year, and we have never reopened,
This is a journey we have not traveled before. It would be arrogant for me to assume that I know how everyone should know what we should do, or how to behave as nobody has gone through this before. However, there are specific experiences that we have had that have informed us about what we should do or not do, none of us who are alive has expressed anything like this before.
The following are suggestions and recommendations.
A. Protect yourself
We have evidence that social distancing is effective and the fact that washing our hands frequently for at least seconds is effective. In addition, wearing a mask in public and avoiding unnecessary trips has been proven to be effective in transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
B. Protect others
In addition to protecting yourself, it is important to protect other people. The steps mentioned above such as social distancing and wearing a mask will help you protect other people.
There is evidence that up to 35% of people with the coronavirus can transmit it without having any symptoms.
C. Be sensitive to other people’s feelings.
Be sensitive that other people may not be on the same page with you.
An example of this is this. It is common to want to open the door for somebody coming behind you. However, if the person is extremely sensitive, he or she may not want to hold the door because he or she may be afraid of being close to you. We should not be offended in such a case; they may just be very sensitive about catching the virus.
It is important not to judge or prejudge how other people react or may not react to you in a similar situation.
D. Watch the news carefully and follow the numbers.
In New York State, Governor Cuomo gives daily briefings. Based on the numbers of new cases, hospitalizations, and other parameters, you’re more likely to make a more informed decision.
E. Don’t take unnecessary risks that may get you or your families in trouble.
If you must go to work but you can work by remote, please take advantage of that. If you must go out, wear a mask, and continue to maintain social distance.
F. Watch out for angry and anxious people.
Unfortunately, millions of Americans have lost their job or the opportunity to take care of their family or pay their rent or feed their children. They may want to displace the anger on others.
G. Stay healthy.
Most of us have developed COVID 20 or COVID 22. By this, I mean putting on 20 to 22 pounds or even more during the period while we ‘sheltered in place.’ There is no use of feeling guilty or bad about this. The lack of regular exercise, our frequent access to food, and using food to numb anxiety may have led some of us to putting on so much weight. This is the time to look for healthy safe methods to exercise, eat healthily, and start losing the weight that we may have gained.
These are unprecedented times and we cannot predict how people will react under stress. Avoid getting into unnecessary fights such as road rage. Walk away if you see trouble ahead. It is very important to be vigilant to see people who want to take advantage of chaotic situations. Be smart, be wise, and be tough. Be kind and be loving.
We will all get through this together. We are stronger together than apart.
There’s a high chance that the prevalence of major depression, anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder will rise after COVID. However, there is hope.
We have a variety of medical and non-medical treatment for depression as well as anxiety. A great example is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) which is a non-invasive method to treat major depressive disorder resistant to medication.
At Upstate Psychiatry, we provide non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation which can help you or your family member deal with depression or anxiety secondary to depression; whether it is COVID related or not.
Please call Chelsea at 315-202-4167 for a free consultation to see whether transcranial magnetic stimulation is suitable for you or for any of your family members.
At Upstate Psychiatry, we use pulses not pills.
Adekola Alao MD