|Country||Confirmed||Today Cases||Death||Today Death||Recovered||Critical|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||459||0||13||0||19||1|
|Trinidad and Tobago||90||0||5||0||1||0|
|Isle of Man||68||0||1||0||0||0|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||8||0||0||0||0||0|
|Antigua and Barbuda||7||0||0||0||0||0|
|Turks and Caicos||6||0||0||0||0||0|
|British Virgin Islands||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|St. Vincent Grenadines||2||0||0||0||1||0|
|Papua New Guinea||1||0||0||0||0||0|
“Coronavirus”, you might have heard about this current epidemic a lot through various sources, well today let’s talk about what a person goes through once is diagnosed as “positive” for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The first thing that an infected person come across after knowing their diseased state is grieving. According to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross there are five stages of grieving (Denial and isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance). She wrote about these five stages in her 1969 book On Death and Dying.
Whenever something unwanted or uncertain happens in our life like rejections, accidents, severe illness, death of loved once etc we go through these grieving process not necessarily in a sequential manner. Furthermore, in our bereavement, we spend different lengths of time working through each step and express each stages with different levels of intensity.
Once a person is diagnosed to have been affected by COVID-19 the first thing is perhaps he/she won’t accept the fact.
They would try to deny the truth and make sincere efforts to convince themselves and others that “this isn’t happening, this can’t be happening to them”.
It is a normal reaction to rationalize our overwhelming emotions. However with time and probably in the case of COVID-19 with the development of some sign and symptoms they will realize the fact but then again the intense emotion is deflected from their vulnerable core is redirected and is expressed instead as “anger”.
The anger may be aimed at inanimate objects, complete strangers, friends, family or even at the medical care professionals. You might have heard of some news recently that an infected person tried to walk around carelessly to transmit the disease among other people. This was his anger that he was reciprocating to others. After this phase the person goes to the phase of bargaining where he tries to make deals with some divine power (god or some spiritual power) in an attempt to postpone the inevitable, and the accompanying pain.
They will start to believe that there might have something that they could have done differently to have helped save them from the infection. Once a person realizes that he/she had been infected they will go through some depressive symptoms. Feeling helplessness and isolating one selves from the family or society is some indication to the fact that the person is going through depression (by isolation we are not talking about quarantine here).
The final stage of grieving is “acceptance” where a person accepts the fact that they are infected and have insight on the possible chain of transmission. A person in this phase will accept the medical assistance and try to fight against the infection. However, many people might not be lucky enough to come to this final stage. Also, accepting the disease state doesn’t necessarily imply that you are recovered, some people might have to accept the fact that their immune system is too weak to fight against the disease.
Hence a person infected by COVID-19 could go through all or any of this stages of grieving and their experiences would be highly individual from very intense to mild symptoms. That’s why, It's the responsibility of the healthy individual to realize the fact that a person going through these stages and their reactions are completely normal. This could happen to anyone, either a medical professional, an expert or a normal citizen of any country. Thus, it is highly essential to know about some coping mechanism which might help you or your loved ones going through these process.
Preparing yourself for the worst outcome is the most important thing that you can do when we talk about an epidemic like COVID-19 which has affected thousands of lives and still has so many undiscovered truth to it.
Whereas, sharing only the trusted informations and talking about the positive aspects of the disease for example the recovery rate (as half of the infected people are already recovered), the new vaccine trails or unity is another thing that you can do to help those people recover quickly from their grieving phases. On the other hand, meditation is one of the best way to keep calm your body and mind.
Learning meditation and teaching your loved ones too will automatically reduce the stress of getting the infection or losing your loved ones. If you have some symptoms of covid don’t get panic, stay on self quarantine at your home for couple of days, if your symptoms do not subsides within those days or aggravates call the emergency helpline number of your country or locality and follow their advice.
As per recent situation anyone can get the infection hence you should know about what’s next if you develop the symptoms.
Participate and support public awareness programs on prevention of COVID-19 so that someone from your community who donot have proper access to the news or information regarding covid could benefit from it. Don’t depend completely on your government, you as an individual also has your own responsibility to help prevent the spread of this infection.
It’s now high time for those people previously infected and are recovered to share their experiences about the mechanism of transmission and how they recovered from the infection. This could act as an encouragement for the newly infected patients. Similarly, learning from countries like China, Korea, Italy on how they are dealing with the cases is another thing that we can do.
There are lot of commendable actions taken by Nepal government or Japan government to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Stay well informed about all those notices that is issued by the government in order to protect you and your family from this epidemic.
Finally, social media is now a powerful medium to connect with thousands of people at a same time hence use it wisely. Share proper informations, experiences, positive updates rather than just sharing the death tolls or unsuccessful attempts to contain the virus.
Change begins from yourself. Change your mindset, surround yourself with positive vibes, remain calm and respect those fighting to end this epidemic, help them in dealing with their emotional breakthroughs.
And remember you can always talk with someone about your condition, sharing your feelings with your relatives or physician will provide you enough strength to cope with your situation.
Lastly, at the end of the day, a small act of kindness and understanding is all it takes to help you, your family or your country to cope with this epidemic so initiate that change, be a change agent and let’s fight this epidemic together.
Aliza K C Bhandari
RN, MPH, Doctor of Public Health
St. Luke's Graduate School of Public Health
03-6321-4488 | 090-6565-4748 | [email protected]
http://university.luke.ac.jp/sph/ | Skype: aliza115