Coronavirus, Lifestyle, Opinions

Isolation is a scary side effect of COVID-19

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing millions of Americans to stay home and isolate themselves, experts have agreed that isolation can have a negative impact on mental health.

COVID-19 has made times especially difficult for someone like me who struggles daily with depression. To me, it seems like this virus has made everything feel hopeless and like life will never go back to normal.

Although self-quarantine and social distancing are necessary to help lessen the spread of coronavirus, social distancing can have adverse psychological and physiological effects.

Calls to suicide hotlines have spiked during this crisis. People are now feeling more lonely than ever, especially those who were laid off from their jobs.

Depression can cause feelings of low energy, fatigue, loss of sleep and even suicidal thoughts. Now combine that with the effects of anxiety on the body, and a person’s mental health will take a toll for the worse. COVID-19 has added a lot of stress and panic to individuals subjected to the threat of this virus. 

No matter the precautions, according to experts, nobody is immune to the effects of isolation. 

Humans are social and we thrive off of interaction with one another. It is unfortunate that some of those who are at high risk for depression and anxiety are the doctors treating patients diagnosed with COVID-19. 

It is more important than ever to help out and support one another, especially those at high risk of contracting coronavirus and anyone you know who struggle with their mental health.

Fortunately, I had someone reach out to me during this time of crisis and recommended I get some help which I eventually did. 

Because someone reached out during this coronavirus pandemic, I started taking better care of myself mentally and looked up tips on how to stay sane during social distancing. 

For students who need help Counseling and Psychological Services has counselors to talk to on the phone for crises and emergencies and are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Another service is the suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.    

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What to know about COVID-19

Common symptoms:

• Cough

• Fever

• Tiredness

• Shortness of breath

Symptoms can begin to present one to 14 days after initial exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

How is it transmitted?

• Close contact with someone, such as shaking hands or hugging.

• Contact with droplets from a sneeze or cough.

• Touching of eyes, mouth or nose with dirty hands.

Are you at risk?

• Have you traveled to an affected area within the past two weeks?

• Have you had close contact with someone who is infected?

If yes to either, and you begin to present symptoms, call your doctor and ask to be tested. 

Prevention:

There is currently no treatment for COVID-19, but the CDC recommends measures to contain the spread of the virus.

• Self-isolate; avoid contact with others including pets; only leave your house for food or medical attention.

• Wear a face mask.

• Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds; sanitizer must contain over 60% alcohol to be effective.

• Clean “high-touch” areas every day.  

•  Maintain a six-foot distance from other individuals; abide by “social distancing” recommendations. 

•  Avoid gatherings with more than nine people. 

 Alert health officials if you think you have COVID-19; monitor your symptoms.


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