'Maintain physical distancing not social distancing'

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'Maintain physical distancing not social distancing'

People are dying alone as relatives are often afraid to come and visit the patients

'Maintain physical distancing not social distancing'

New Delhi: Doctors are being traumatised from seeing patients, mostly young ones, dying in front of their eyes. They feel completely helpless with a scarcity of health resources. The impact is becoming more severe after the second wave of coronavirus. It is affecting the lifestyle of human beings not only physically but mentally. People are dying alone as relatives are often afraid to come and visit the patients.

Dr Deepti Puranik, Assistant Professor, Amity Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Amity University Mumbai, said, “In the last two years, there has been an increase in the stress level, anxiety, emotional outbursts, loneliness and depression which can be directly correlated to this pandemic. Covid warriors such as doctors, healthcare workers, police etc are burdened with the high-risk work, the responsibility of saving lives, insecurity about their own health, unable to meet their own families, which has caused tremendous  pressure and stress on their own health.”

She also said that there has also been news of doctors committing suicides and they haven't been able to gauge the seriousness of this entire issue.

Personal space

Everyone requires their personal space, which is becoming hard to get in the lockdown phase. Dr Deepti said, “When people used to go to office, completing work and coming back home used to be something  everyone would be looking forward to. But these days, we are working at home, thus unable to maintain the personal space that is necessary for our positive mental growth.”

Children are glued to indoor activities

When lockdown started, we thought that families will have more time to  interact with each other. They can spend some quality time which was not possible earlier as everyone was busy in their lives. But as lockdown started again, things again became more complicated.

Dr Deepti said, “Children see their parents at home, but it affects them more when they see that the parents are not able to interact with them because they are attending the meeting through video conferencing or other means. Further, the children are stuck at home, they have somewhere forgotten going to a real school, playing with their friends, having physical activities. Children are  glued to the screen and parents are encouraging them to stick to the screen or TV, as it gives parents the freedom to do their work. But being home, in fact, has increased the distance between the family  members.”

Despite all these things we are more affected by ongoing deaths, hospitalisation of loved ones, and the trauma of being helpless.

Be socially connected not physically

Yes, we are aware that social distancing and wearing a mask is very important these days. But we also need to understand that we must maintain physical distancing, not social distancing. Dr Deepti said, “We must maintain physical distancing and not social distancing. The need is to be as socially close as possible by maintaining the physical distance. Social support, sharing positive thoughts are something that would help to overcome this pandemic and be mentally healthy. Mental health is completely ignored in this pandemic and we have refused to look at its long-term impact on our own lives. We need to change this perspective, support each other, contact the mental health helplines and speak to counsellors. It is also necessary to surround ourselves with positive thoughts which can have an amazing effect on our cognition, emotions and behaviour.”

Try to avoid such news which makes you feel miserable. Things are unfortunate but it will be fine  soon. Stay positive.