As the thermometer drops, infection does become more likely – but it’s important to stay calm and get the treatment you need. Everywhere around the world, people are limiting social contact by staying at home with an attempt to control the Corona outbreak. How does that work?

Social Distancing

Even the phrase sounds awful. At the moment, even the simplest,most awaited, purest of human gestures, the ones we desire most in times like these; a hug or squeeze of our hand, comforting us that everything will be okay — now carry risk.

We all are social animals after all. We’re evolutionarily wired for proximity to each other. So, these new protocols (staying six feet apart, voluntarily quarantining as much as possible) are necessary, but may not be natural and easy for some of us.

Even when you’re totally healthy, to not have social interactions can hurt both your physical and mental wellbeing. Studies have shown loneliness can lead to diabetes, autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and cardiovascular diseases. If you’re already prone to depression, anxiety, and loneliness, you’re hit even harder. (And that’s when life is normal, not in the current coronavirus culture.)

In this new world of telecommuting, self-quarantining, and seemingly incessant handwashing, the impact may be even more dramatic. The somewhat reassuring news is that we have an idea of what to expect and who is at risk, thanks to the piles and piles of research that was done after the SARS epidemic in 2003 and 9/11.

Common Emotional Reactions To The Coronavirus Situation

According to the American Psychological Association, there’s a range of emotions and struggle right now; and it will evolve. “The further you are from engaging with others and feeling a connection, the more of an impact it will have,” says Dr. Kaplin. There are a range of emotions people are expected to have right now:

  • Fear and anxiety – It’s 100% normal to be worried about contracting or spreading COVID-19. Here are the facts: The virus is contagious—experts say the rate of infection is 2-3. The issue is, symptoms can spread before anyone knows they’re sick and the virus can live on surfaces for a while—a day on cardboard and two to three on plastic or stainless steel. It’s also normal to feel anxious about getting food and supplies. We’re not used to seeing empty grocery store shelves or lines to get into the store.
  • Depression and boredom – Our usual daily routines are completely out of strike right now. Many of us are staying home, instead of going into work, kids are doing online learning instead of being out of the house. It’s nearly impossible to get into a rhythm with so much uncertainty. Add in the fact that you can’t go to the movies, restaurants or any social gatherings.
  • Frustration or irritability – Such feelings have its root in the fact that we’ve had to abandon control of so many things at once. This could be directed at particular people, like an individual in the grocery store who loaded his cart up with toilet paper and you can’t find any because of that.

What You Can Do

Stay connected. Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. You can still do virtual socialising through WhatsApp, FaceTime, Instagram etc.
Try breathing exercises/Yoga. Mindful breathing where you match your in-breath with your out-breath and focus on scanning your body is calming. This would only take 3 minutes of your time.
Be kind. It doesn’t just benefit others; you reap the fruits too. According to certain researches, when you do good for someone else, your brain’s pleasure and reward centres light up. It’s called the “helper’s high.”
Make do of your time. Take this opportunity to get your side business ready or find an interesting project that could benefit you such as investing in crypto.


Stay safe.

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