Until we have preventable vaccines and drugs to treat the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the only tools we have to avoid becoming infected are social distancing and personal protection. When people visit clinics and hospitals, they run the risk of contracting the virus. However, avoiding doctors’ offices and neglecting preexisting and emerging illnesses can harm people’s health, today and in the future. As the whole country focuses on Covid-19, it is time to meet the basic health needs of non-Covid.
Messages for the Everyone
- Do not call people with the disease “COVID-19 cases”, “victims” or “COVID-19 families” or “The ill”. These are “people who have COVID-19”, “people who are treated for COVID-19 “, or” people recovering from COVID-19 “, and after recovering from COVID-19 their lives will continue with their work, family and loved ones. It is important to separate a person to have an identity defined by COVID-19, in order to reduce stigma.
- Protect yourself and support others. Helping others when needed can benefit both the person receiving support and the help. For example, check neighbors by phone or people in your community who may need additional help. Work together the community can help create solidarity by treating COVID-19 together.
- Some health workers can unfortunately be avoided by their family or community because of stigma or fear. This can make an already difficult situation much more difficult. If possible, staying in touch with loved ones, including digital methods, is one way to keep contact. Turn to co-workers, manager or others you trust for social support – your colleagues can have similar experiences to you.
- Manage urgent mental health and neurological complaints (e.g. delirium, psychosis, severe anxiety or depression) within emergency or general healthcare facilities. Appropriate trained and qualified staff may need to be deployed to these locations when time permits, and the capacity of general healthcare staff capacity to provide mental health and psychosocial support should be increased.
- Help the children find positive ways to express feelings such as fear and sadness. Each child has his or his own way of expressing his emotions. Sometimes engaging in creative activity, such as playing or drawing can facilitate this process. Children feel relieved if they can express and communicate their feelings in a safe and supportive environment.
- During times of stress and crisis, it is common for children to seek more attachment and be more demanding on parents. Discuss COVID-19 with your children in an honest and age-appropriate way. If your children have concerns, addressing them together may ease their anxiety. Children will observe adults’ behaviours and emotions for cues on how to manage their own emotions during difficult times.
- Elderly people, particularly isolated and those with cognitive decline / dementia, may become more anxious, angry, stressed, agitated and withdrawn during the epidemic or in quarantine. Provide practical and emotional support through informal networks (families) and health professionals.
- Learn simple daily physical exercises to perform at home, in quarantine or isolation so you can maintain mobility and reduce boredom.
- Pay attention to your own needs and feelings during times of stress. Engage in health activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly, keep regular sleep routines and eat healthy food. Keep things in perspective. Public health agencies and experts from all countries are work on the epidemic to ensure the availability of the best care to those affected.
- A near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel anxious or distressed. Seek information updates and practical guidance at specific times during the day from health professionals and WHO website and avoid listening to or following rumours that make you feel uncomfortable.