Resilience in times of pandemic

pandemic

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Thaís Queiroz Landi, a fourth-year medical student at the São Lucas University Center, in Rondônia, Brazil. 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 a pandemic, social isolation proved to be the main mechanism to reduce the number of infected people, but following it to the letter also brought consequences on the mental health of individuals. Faced with a situation that changes not only the current routine but also plans and projects, it is normal for the human being to be in a situation of fragility and uncertainty.

Taking into account the individuality of each being, and how each reacts to a situation of risk, there is no right formula for how to act at that moment, but there are ways to go through it with less mental overload. An alternative would be to build a routine that takes into account the pandemic and its severity, but that is not based solely on it. It is possible to stay informed, without allowing circumstances to dominate us, as both lack of information and excessive information are two extremes that seem less healthy.

Another way to preserve emotional health is to invest in activities that reduce the level of acute stress, such as physical exercise, meditation and breathing control. The habit of listening to music, dancing and reading a book can also promote a feeling of physical and mental well-being, in addition to changing the momentary focus of this moment of tension.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to know how the disease is transmitted and how to fight it, following the prevention recommendations already established, such as washing your hands frequently with soap and water or sanitizing them with 70% gel alcohol, avoid physical contact with other people, mainly individuals from the risk group, respect social isolation and use masks when necessary, following the correct practice of use, removal, and disposal.

These are difficult times, especially for those who already have previous mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression, but focus on resilience. The word resilience is related to the human being’s ability to be flexible in his thoughts and behavior in times of difficulty, thus making it possible to create ways to overcome adversity in times of crisis.

About the author

Thaís Queiroz Landi, fourth-year medical student at the São Lucas University Center, in Rondônia. Member of the Standing Committee on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, including HIV and AIDS (SCORA), of IFMSA Brazil. Since the beginning of her academic life, she has been interested in the mental health field, acting in campaigns about the importance of this theme.

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