Sanity in times of COVID-19

sane

(Lesly Juarez, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Lesley Roks, a fourth year medical student working as Local Supervisory Counselor (L-SupCo) in IFMSA Brazil UniCesumar. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


In times of pandemic, looking for the word “balance” in the dictionary has become a chore. Accurate neologisms are created to deal with situations that require emotions to be tamed once and for all. Based on that, and as a medical student, I wonder: is the human being really able to redefine health, since it tries to maintain a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being in complete chaos and distance from others?

It’s extremely important to bring up historical facts that demonstrate this is not the first time we deal with a community crisis. During the SARS outbreak in 2003, studies at that time have already reported adverse psychological reactions among the population involved. In line with that, a recent survey involving 1257 respondents revealed a high prevalence of psychiatric symptoms among health professionals who are treating patients with COVID-19 in China. Overall, 50.4%, 44.6%, 34.0% and 71.5% of all participants have reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress, respectively.

That said, before confronting the burden of a pandemic, it’s necessary to consider the obstacles about to arise and realize that human control is limited. This way we have a dimension of what’s within the reach of our contemporary resources, especially technology resources, as tools to overcome tension, such as the implementation of psychological assistance via telephone/internet and counseling applications.

The pandemic has been an anticipator of already underway futures, such as remote working, distance education, and the searching for sustainability and social demand attendance, whose companies are the most responsible for. Meanwhile, other embryonic and little discussed changes are now taking on new meaning. We can score the strengthening of values ​​such as solidarity and empathy. The moment asks, and we have a choice to make: confronting beliefs and making significant changes for the future or simply preserving the status quo?

New references in the defense of life are urgently needed, and as an innate social animal, human being is fully able to adapt realities with his changing power and experience that has been polished over millennia of evolution. No doubts we need to make a paradigm shift. It’s out of respect for each other.

Thus, it’s clear that there are lots of things to do to relieve emotional stress following pandemic effects, such as hobbies, reading and movie marathons. But what needs to be clear is that, as the human species, we have the trigger for change, adaptation and reciprocity inherent in our genetic code, and perhaps for the first time we’re equipped with technology for the common well-being. After all, Nietzsche has already warned chaos shouldn’t be misunderstood as opposing causes and purposes. Chaos is like a dice game, where the possibilities preserve the need of reframing. It waits for the good players, those who know how to contemplate life as a game.

References

  1. Lai J, Ma S, Wang Y, et al. Factors Associated With Mental Health Outcomes Among Health Care Workers Exposed to Coronavirus Disease 2019. JAMA Network Open. 2020;3(3):e203976. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.3976.
  2. Maunder R, Hunter J, Vincent L, et al. The immediate psychological and occupational impact of the 2003 SARS outbreak in a teaching hospital. CMAJ. 2003;168(10):1245-1251.
  3. World Health Organization. Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 Outbreak. Published March 18, 2020. Accessed March 23, 2020. Available in: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf
  4. Clark DA, Beck AT. Overcoming anxiety and the concern about CBT. Porto Alegre: Artmed, 2014.
  5. CALAZANS, Patricia. São Paulo: Matrix, 2017.
  6. GERALDO, AntôPsychiatrist guides how to maintain mental health during the pandemic. TV Brasil.March 24, 2020. Accessed April 20, 2020. Available in: <https://tvbrasil.ebc.com.br/psiquiatra-compartilha-dicas-para-saude-mental-durante-pandemia>
  7. MELO, Clayton. How Coronavirus will change our lives: ten trends for the post-pandemic El País. Published April13, 2020. Accessed April 20, 2020. Available in: <https://brasil.elpais.com/opiniao/2020-04-13/como-o-coronavirus-vai-mudar-nossas-vidas-dez-tendencias-para-o-mundo-pos-pandemia.html&gt;
  8. MEES, Leonardo. Nietzsche and the caos as the general character of world. Revista Ítaca, n. 16. Rio de Janeiro, 2011.

About the author

Lesley Roks is a fourth year medical student working as Local Supervisory Counselor (L-SupCo) in IFMSA Brazil UniCesumar. Skills: responsibility, organization, pro activity and good interpersonal relationships and group work, all developed and improved with the help of her local committee. She is part of three academic leagues: pediatrics, infectology and otorhinolaryngology. She has been very active in the academic life, with many participations in campaigns, student events and scientific projects, especially when there’s the involvement of IFMSA Brazil UniCesumar, in which she participates since her first academic year.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

What people want – ignore at your peril

Reduce costs, save lives: how healthcare data can help emerging economies

UN chief welcomes South Sudan’s Unity government, lauds parties for ‘significant achievement’

In this ‘wildland’ farm in Britain, species thrive and yields are high

MWC 2016 LIVE: 5G to trigger disruption, claim industry leaders

EU elections update: Can the EU voters vote unaffected from fake news and online disinformation?

US-North Korea summit ‘an important milestone’ towards denuclearization, says Guterres

SMEs are driving job growth, but need higher investment in skills, innovation and tech to boost wages and productivity

Eurozone stagnates after exporting its recession to trading partners

From G7 announcement in August to Paris Peace Forum, Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) coalition gains momentum

Commission tries to solidify the EU statistical system

3 campaigns spreading the joy of reading to children at home

In the future of work it’s jobs, not people, that will become redundant

Large parts of the world are growing more fragile. Here are 5 steps to reverse course

Silicon Valley can do more to achieve the #GlobalGoals

Antibiotics are contaminating the world’s rivers

Future of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh ‘hangs in the balance’ – UNHCR chief

Protection of workers from biological agents: how to classify COVID-19

UN health agency to gauge global threat, as China confirms coronavirus transmission between humans

ACP-EU : Agreement on climate change, migration and post-Cotonou

Consumer protection: Commission welcomes political agreement by Council on the Representative Actions Directive

IMF’s Lagarde to Peoples of the world: You have to work more for the banks!

Ukraine: EU report notes continued implementation of the reform agenda though challenges remain

How a trade war would impact global growth

Opening – Parliament expresses support for victims of Fuego volcano in Guatemala

Benjamin Franklin was wrong: Amazon can tax evade

North Sea fisheries: MEPs back EU plan to sustain stocks of demersal species

European Youth Forum welcomes adoption of Sustainable Development Goals and calls on European countries to not ignore them!

Japan’s workforce will be 20% smaller by 2040

Darfur: Inter-communal tensions still high despite improved security, Mission head tells Security Council

The link between migration and technology is not what you think

Is poverty and exclusion the necessary price for EU’s recovery?

Digital distrust: We’re losing faith in technology to solve the world’s problems

UN experts urge Turkey to repatriate Irish woman associated with terror group

Here are 3 lessons Europe can learn from China’s flourishing start-ups

Rise in violent conflict shows prevention ‘more necessary than ever’: UN chief

UN will do ‘utmost to prevent and mitigate any risk of violence’ in DR Congo, pledges Mission chief

Financial transactions tax gets go ahead

‘The green economy is the future,’ UN chief says in Beijing, urging climate solutions that strengthen economies, protect the environment

Europe slammed by Turkey’s shaky Erdoğan; both playing with immigrants’ agony

How Finland is fighting fake news – in the classroom

How face masks, gloves and other coronavirus waste is polluting our ocean

Energy Union: EU invests a further €800 million in priority energy infrastructure

Basel III rules relaxed: Banks got it all but become more prone to crisis

Spanish vote – bad luck for Greece: Does Iphigenia need to be sacrificed for favourable winds to blow in Eurozone?

UN policewoman recognized for ‘speaking up and speaking out’ on behalf of the vulnerable

Meet Cipta: the comic book hero using her powers to tackle bullying in schools

This massive project in Spain is the latest milestone in Europe’s solar power boom

5 curve-flattening technologies being developed by young people

Τhe EU Refugee Crisis: a day in the life of a Refugee in Greece

Can one FTA and 110 lobby meetings make the dirty oil clean in Europe?

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ericsson/Cisco partnership on track, insist execs

EU-UK relations: MEPs approve rules to ensure Eurotunnel safety and cooperation

Booking.com commits to align practices presenting offers and prices with EU law following EU action

Commission welcomes the political agreement on the transitional rules for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

The EU’s outermost regions: strengthened partnership bears fruit

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

Eurozone to enter the winter…

Welcome to the COVID-19 era of world sport

UN chief urges India and Pakistan to dial down tensions in wake of Kashmir attack

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s