Since the Early news of COVID-19 in the beginning of January 2020 started appearing and gradually set the stage to change for lifestyle. Early months no body was aware of the impact it will make in the long run. However unknown fear and limited research resulted in different hypothesis and hence suggestions to protect the society. Among social distancing, frequent hand washing, sanitization campaigns, use of mask, checking temperature and many more efforts unfolded and led to completely change the norm of the society.
“As the life goes on with these changes and working from home preferences over going to the workplace for obvious reasons has created different challenges. Human, being a gregarious in nature, socialization is not an option instead is necessity to stay happy and healthy. Working from home deprived people of the unrecognized therapeutic effect of mingling, sharing and socializing in different scenarios. Thing are given may be taken as granted and unless we lose that opportunity/object it is hard to appreciate the existence and benefit of the same” said Dr. Muhammad S. Tahir child, adolescent & adult psychiatrist at Al Zahra Hospital Dubai
Dr. Tahir added “No doubt fear of pandemic spread swept with great concern and measures taken were necessary. It has affected the society’s different facets, like even the meeting style, staying away, not shacking hands, covering face with mask, frequent cleanliness habits created mixed feeling among the different members of society. Is he/she ok? should I remove the mask? or can we sit closer? because I know this person. No! I do not know because the symptoms are suttle and you never know that person may be exposed somehow, may be a carrier without symptoms. These confusions created and exposed different nature, personality, behaviors and fears”.
Now after many months of these practices mental health professional are noticing the effect of these changes in the form of increased stress related issues, anxiety related conditions, some having increase in the mild symptoms of obsessions about cleanliness so and so forth.
However, people fare well who can adapt well and quick to understand and bring changes after accepting the nature and reality of the situation. Along the same lines people who followed the guidelines but learned new skills to cope with the situation were the least affected ones.
Advice from the professionals about healthy eating habits, appropriate sleep hygiene, exercise, staying in touch with near and dear ones via the social media, telephone and other sources is utmost important. Family time has increased which is a protective factor. However, living alone can pose even higher level of stressful situation which needs to be addressed individually with positive thinking and adapting to the needs of new environment. Spending time in positive activities and doing something creative which one might have wanted but could not get a time to do that.
Now with the introduction of the vaccine a ray of hope and some relief will help people to continue those learned behaviors with hope for normalization to the pre-COVID times soon.
*By Dr. Muhammad S. Tahir, M.D. (USA)Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychiatrist