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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Pork Chops Offline
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Name: Wendi
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"Pandemic Fatigue" - January 13th 2021, 07:14 PM

The latest covid news in our little city-state of Monaco is 33 new covid cases on 13 Jan, bringing total to 1,128: 21 hospitalised: 13 resident + 8 in ICU: 6 resident, 122 being monitored at home, 926 recoveries,7 deaths.

Many including Julie and I have been feeling down, so according to the World Health Organisation, up to 60% of Europeans are apathetic, exhausted and stressed. Apparently, we are becoming increasingly frustrated with government restrictions and growing resistant to changing Covid-19 protocols. It seems we want our lives back. But, how can we get through this crisis for which there seems no end in sight?

What arguably makes pandemic anxiety feel more intense is the threat to our existence. This is existential anxiety. The threats seem to be coming at us from all angles. Some of us might lose our jobs. That can also mean losing our identity. Also, our health is being threatened. That seems pretty existential to me. The more we feel that we donít have the resources to cope with these threats, the greater the anxiety felt. How can we manage anxiety? The tricky balance is to acknowledge our reality but not to get caught up in catastrophising events. We can have a tendency to let negative thoughts escalate when we feel anxious. We fear the worst. In most cases, the worst is not what happens. If you meditate, practice this as often as possible. If you think thatís all a bit lightweight, google mindful breathing.

But at the same time we grapple with whether we will have jobs down the line, whether our children will be sent home from school, the health of our elderly parents, the loneliness of our lives, the stress of our relationships (add to the list, as appropriate), how can we not be grieving? Grief is the emotional experience of reacting to a loss of something thatís important to us. Amongst other things, we have lost our way of being in the world as a result of this pandemic. It could be as simple as losing our daily routine or as significant as losing our identity as a result of a job loss.

For those some of you may know who have died and like Julie and I, our lovely old neighbours who have died from this terrible disease, letís give ourselves permission to grieve what we have lost. The traditional stages of loss are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The stages are not necessarily linear, so we could spend weeks, months or years in any one stage. So if you are feeling like this, make a list of your losses, small and large, and discuss them with someone close to you. Validate each other.

Is it just us or does it feel like every TV program, radio show and social media post, is about Corona this, Corona that, Corona right now? This constant exposure to news reports, statistics and even fake news stories designed to freak us out, makes it hard to escape corona-anxiety.

While itís important to keep up to date with developments in order to stay safe, your brain might appreciate a little break. For example, try just listening to the headlines or to the Prime Ministerís daily update before turning over to something less corona-y. Turn news notifications off your phone. And don't believe everything you hear. Fake news designed to scare you is doing the rounds on social media, so make sure you get your news for reputable sources, like BBC News

Take a break from social media. Or if thatís not possible, try curating your feed by only following accounts posting supportive content. You can also try muting WhatsApp groups if you find them anxiety-inducing. And focus on the good stuff. It might be hard to believe, but thereís lots of good stuff going on in the world right now. Keep an eye on stories like the one about the 95-year-old woman in Italy who recently recovered from the virus. Or about the positive effect the pandemic is having on the environment.

Self-isolation may be making you loopy, but staying home is the most important and effective thing you can do to help overcome corona. But that doesnít mean itís easy. It doesnít feel natural to practice social distancing with our mates and home can begin to feel claustrophobic, especially if you have a difficult relationship with your family or housemates. Prioritize your Self-care and exercise - get out for a brisk walk! Keep an eye on developments, but for now, it's safe to leave the house once a day for exercise if youíre feeling well. Really make the most of this by getting out for a decent walk, run or cycle every day Ė exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mental health.


ďMany of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.Ē - Thomas A. Edison.

Thomas Edison tried over two thousand times to invent the lightbulb.
   
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Re: "Pandemic Fatigue" - January 13th 2021, 07:49 PM

This is all really helpful advice and I can definitely say I understand the pandemic fatigue that's happening now. I, too, wish I could go back to normal. I miss seeing my friends and not caring about getting the train for a long journey, and going to see films in the cinema or days out. It's all stuff we took for granted that we can't do, and nobody likes being told they're not allowed to do the things that make them happy.

I think your advice here is really good - especially about the over-exposure to news. I ended up blocking news notifications and restricting how many times I looked at the headlines as it became almost compulsive to check the minute I woke up and then multiple times a day. News is constructed to be sensationalist; it sells because it's dramatic. Limiting this, if anxiety is something you're prone to, is a really good idea.

I hope you and everyone else is holding up okay. These are tough times but there's some very helpful advice here which I'm sure will help many people. Thank you for sharing.



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The things you donít need to liveó
books, art, cinema, wine, and so onó
are the things you need to live
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Re: "Pandemic Fatigue" - January 14th 2021, 11:08 AM

I'm glad it's being helpful to you, Hollie.


ďMany of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.Ē - Thomas A. Edison.

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Re: "Pandemic Fatigue" - January 15th 2021, 07:01 PM

I do this by going out. Went to Disney recently. When I still drank- I would go to bars everyday. Basically anything that is the antithesis of wasting my life at home in fear over a virus that has a 1 percent fatality rate- I find really helpful.
   
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Re: "Pandemic Fatigue" - January 16th 2021, 02:20 PM

Hi Wendi,

Great write-up, and I think you shared some great points there. Like you mentioned, living in isolation is not natural for our species, but this is what COVID-19 has done to us now. Last week, Ireland had the highest rate of COVID-19 cases (per million people) in the world and it has been pretty traumatising for my family who are back in Singapore. They are super worried about me, and this is pretty scary for me too. But we have no other way but to face this through!

I'm sorry to hear that your elderly neighbours have died because of COVID-19. Death of someone just adds to all the stress there already is.

I think the best we can do right now is to remain optimistic and focus on each day at a time. If we have something to work on, like school or work, it pays to put our energy into it so that our mind remains engaged in something productive. Exercising is also a great way to beat the blues.

Let's hope that this year will see much improvement to the global state of this horrible pandemic


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Re: "Pandemic Fatigue" - January 16th 2021, 11:45 PM

Thank you Mallika. We are mourning for our old dears, but they passed peacefully and in Princess Grace Hospital, had the finest covid treatment.

I shall miss our lovely old neighbour's guitar playing and his wife's dulcet singing. But life carries on, but there remains a heavy heart inside Julie and I. If only they'd had the vaccines sooner, they could have still been alive.

Although Julie and I have spent the entire day self-caring and helping each other, I still feel heavy in heart. I know Julie does, too. All we can do is look forward to tomorrow and put to bed what has happened.


ďMany of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.Ē - Thomas A. Edison.

Thomas Edison tried over two thousand times to invent the lightbulb.
   
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