Recently I posted links to both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Singapore Ministry of Heath (MOH). The objective was to provide a jump site mainly in the hope that visitors would chose to follow those other sites, or at least rely on them for updates about COVID19.
Whenever there is a major challenge facing humanity, one that confronts us with our mortality, whether it’s war of pandemic, there are physical strategies adopted to confront and overcome the threat. In this case of a pandemic, there is a science driven response that is being implemented with varying degrees of success. Some leaders have been extraordinarily remiss, others incautious in the way they have responded to the threat of COVID19. Gradually science is prevailing but in some cases far too late.
As with all great threats there are significant emotional stressors whether precipitated by the loss of loved ones, being locked down, unemployment, inability to operate a business, being unable to return to one’s own country because of border closures or anxiety around guaranteed access to food and medical attention. There are numerous instances of fearful people reacting in ways that, in less troubled times, would be seen as extremely anti-social.
The World Health Organisation makes a number of suggestions for dealing with in nits publication Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak. In summary they are:
- Do not attach COVID-19 to any ethnicity or nationality. Be empathetic to all those who are affected. Get the facts; not the rumors and misinformation. Gather information at regular intervals, from WHO website and local health authorities platforms, in order to help you distinguish facts from rumors. Facts can help to minimize fears.
- Do not refer to people with the disease as “COVID-19 cases”, “victims” “COVID-19 families” or the “diseased”.
- Minimize watching, reading or listening to news that causes you to feel anxious or distressed. Gather information at regular intervals, from WHO website and local health authorities platforms, in order to help you distinguish facts from rumors. Facts can help to minimize fears.
- Protect yourself and be supportive to others. Assisting others in their time of need can benefit the person receiving support as well as the helper.
These are 26 more. Consult the remainder in the document Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak
Several days ago someone I know quite well was very critical of me because I posted comments on my Facebook page from His Eminence Archbishop Makarios. He was addressing COVID19 liturgy and Holy Communion. I found myself reacting quite self righteously to the comments before realising that both the comments from my contact and my reaction were part of the problem. Fear and anxiety can be very damaging to personal relations. So I offer another prayer in this time of the Corona Virus crisis.