COVID-19 pandemic: The war inside our heads

_depressed 2020_

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Model Diana-Maria, a 3rd year medical student at Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, faculty of Medicine, located in Bucharest, Romania . 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.


Every new year starts with the hope for new beginnings, new accomplishments to pursue, intentions and plans for better ourselves, but also new burdens for each individual. 2020 proved itself to be a tough year for the whole world.

It is not the first time this world has had to face severe issues: calamities, poverty, pandemics and the list could continue. But the apparition of the newest coronavirus outbreak brought not only instability in each domain, starting with the medical field, but also affecting industries, economy, transports, tourism, etc. Perhaps even more importantly, it also brought instability in ourselves, in our own coping mechanisms.

„Knowledge is power” and all this power is stocked in our mind. But this situation has been overwhelming even for the mind, too. People have no choice but to stay at home most of the time. No traveling, no jogging in the park, no eating at a restaurant or going to the cinema. Hobbies, schools, even some jobs are interrupted at the moment, and the longer the wait, the stronger the anxiety. Even for the most courageous  people, all these deadlocks represent a different rhythm of life and adapting to it can be extremely stressful.

But human nature adapts. With every day that passes, new ways of dealing with the situation appear. How to win the war inside our heads? Let’s see the opportunities it brings.

With our old activities interrupted, it is the perfect time to discover new others. So many people wanted for so long to write a book, to learn a new language or gain a new ability, such as cooking, playing an instrument, dancing, discovering new things by reading or doing research regarding their interest. Perhaps none of this happened, due to the lack of time. But now is the perfect moment to invest in ourselves! Everything can now be turned into an opportunity. We can be our own heroes.

It is important to understand that this situation shall pass, too. But we do not have to be scientists, or to make donations to help each other. We can help the people around and ourselves, too. We can still keep in touch with the ones we love, we can still do what we like. We can exercise at home, and various sport trainers show their programs via the Internet. We can still be in the front line at a theatre, or at the Opera, online. We can still travel through a small „window”, which would be the screen of our computers, telephones, laptops,  by searching some virtual tours of museums, countries, or specific places. The possibilities are endless.

In the end, it is perfectly normal to carry with ourselves hard emotions: anxiety, sadness, anger, fear. But the power to free the burden is also ours. And we can win this war, together.

Refferences

  1. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51706225
  2. https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/March-2020/Coronavirus-Mental-Health-Coping-Strategies
  3. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak
  4. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html
  6. https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/March-2020/Coronavirus-Mental-Health-Coping-Strategies
  7. https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/

About the author

Model Diana-Maria is a a 3rd year medical student at Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, faculty of Medicine, located in Bucharest, Romania and also a member of FASMR, as local coordinator of SCORP – Standing Committee on Human Rights and Peace – and the Assistant of the National Officer for Human Rights and Peace.

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