Zim Digital Sunday Express
June 18, 2021

Living with Covid-19 has forced humanity to adapt to the new normal

Covid-19 has brought serious and wide-ranging, even revolutionary, adjustments to life in a very short period of time

By Mandy Nyama

As the Lockdown is being eased On this week’s MailOnline Health Column, I am going to share about
Covid 19 pandemic how it changed our normal way of living.

The recent Covid-19 pandemic has had significant psychological and social effects on the population.

Research has highlighted the impact on psychological well-being of the most exposed groups, the elderly, business community, children, students, and health workers, who are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms of distress.

The social distance and the security measures have affected the relationship among people and their perception of empathy toward others.

According to WHO Covid 19 Worldometer over 2.8million people have died from Covid 19 pandemic and cases recorded so far are over 130million and the most affected being the United States of America.

Zimbabwe has recorded 36 893 confirmed cases of Covid 19 pandemic and
1 523 confirmed deaths as at 2nd April 2021.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a prolonged exposure to stress, as everything was on lockdown. It’s like the whole world was on standstill.

Having to stay indoors, avoid public places, keeping a distance from the people around us, and not attending social and religious gatherings resulted in mental breakdown for many, as they are not used to such kind of a life.

 

 

The security measures adopted in managing the pandemic had different consequences on individuals, according to the social role invested. Some segments of the population seem to be more exposed to the risk of anxious, depressive, and post-traumatic symptoms because they are more sensitive to stress e.g. Health Care Workers, Students, Children and the business community.

In recent months many countries have introduced the Covid 19 Vaccine as a mitigation measure.

Does this mean that Covid is about to be defeated via vaccination? The answer is a big NO.

Zimbabwe has vaccinated more than 88 000 people first Dose and more than 17 000 people second Dose according to the MOHCC.

Living with Covid-19 is a reality we have to accept. Public health experts have said there is a high likelihood that Covid-19 will become an endemic disease, meaning it will be present at all times, though likely at lower levels than it is now.

Covid-19 has changed how we live, work, learn and interact as social distance have led to a more virtual existence, both personally and professionally.

We know that Covid-19 will continue to be around, just like other infectious diseases. In the end, we have to understand the fate and truth of changing the way we used to live which seems to be a readily accepted practice.

Covid-19 has brought serious and wide-ranging, even revolutionary, adjustments to life in a very short period of time.

In the beginning, it felt strange to wear face masks at all times in public and to sanitise our hands regularly.

Having to stay indoors, avoid public places, keeping a distance from the people around us, and not attending social and religious gatherings are completely new to many of us. Individuals become single units. Social and cultural norms slowly dissolve in time.

 

 

Cultural method of greetings such as shaking hands and hugs with relatives and friends are against the recommended preventive behaviour now. Festive seasons and holy festivals are no longer celebrated like before.

Religious organisations are changing their practices, such as limiting or cancelling worship meetings.

However, there is another perspective to ponder on as we adapt to a new way of life. While some people continue to observe the standard operating procedures, many others feel they are no longer necessary and some never believed they were necessary in the first place.

Repeated reminders of physical distancing practices, hand washing, wearing of face masks, stay home pleas, and daily updates of morbidity and mortality via mass media channels can result in message fatigue (which refers to a state of being weary and tired of persistent exposure to similarly themed information).

Few studies have illustrated how reactance of the individual can modulate the negative effects of message fatigue. Reactance refers to the feeling a person has of having their freedom to choose taken away from them, hence limiting their range of activities.

Covid-19 has forced us to make adjustments to life in a very short time.

Conclusion:

Covid 19 is still here, no complacency, continue to mask up, Sanitize, wash hands, maintain social distance, avoid gatherings, if need be stay at home and get vaccinated.

In Zimbabwe all government hospitals and clinics are vaccination centres. Keep checking for the vaccination information in the Media.

Happy April to you our valued readers.

 

Feedback: mandynyama@gmail.com. Professional Healthcare Worker. She holds a BTech in Health and Social Care

 

 

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