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WHO's admission on airborne transmission of COVID-19 sends anxieties soaring

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | KANIZA GARARI
Published Jul 10, 2020, 6:35 pm IST
Updated Jul 10, 2020, 6:35 pm IST
The changing environment due to the coronavirus has led to multiple levels of mental trauma
The Mehdipatnam market yard wears a sparse look on Thursday uly 9, 2020, as customers hesitate to enter the market due to fear of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: P. Surendra, DC.
 The Mehdipatnam market yard wears a sparse look on Thursday uly 9, 2020, as customers hesitate to enter the market due to fear of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: P. Surendra, DC.

Hyderabad: Anxiety, panic and phobia have gripped the people after the World Health Organization acknowledged ‘emerging evidence’ of airborne transmission of the coronavirus. The infodemic has got people edgy, and is adding to their mental stress.

Those who have been taking precautions against Covid-19 are now finding this ‘new method of transmission of the coronavirus’ stressful to cope with.

 

People are now asking what must be done to prevent the coronavirus from entering their homes. Hyper-vigilance and sensitivity are restricting many of them from going out for a walk in the gated communities and residential complexes and interacting with neighbours even from a distance.

Norms for children playing in the common area are changing, and residential association meetings to resolve pending problems are being dropped due to this new ‘evidence’.

Dr Srinivas Kandrakonda, senior psychiatrist, said, “The scientific principles on the basis of which information is evaluated is not understood by the common man. At the ground level, there is an obsession with the disease as it has led to severe disruption in the life of each person. To add another factor means disrupting it further, which can cause a breakdown in many people.”

 

Most people are not able to acknowledge that they are fearful, and that adds to their dilemma. The changing environment due to the coronavirus has led to multiple levels of mental trauma.

The first was the denial, where many of them were not able to accept the infectious virus. Their laxity allowed for the COVID-19 spread and the trauma it has left behind has made coping difficult.

People who are opting for video-counselling with psychiatrists and psychologists are talking about their inability to cope with this change. They yearn to go back to ‘pre-Covid’ times. With no seeming end, many are experiencing episodes of depression, anxiety and phobia.

 

Dr Minhaj Nasirabadi, general secretary Indian Psychiatric Society, TS, says, “Those who had underlying mental illnesses are the worst-affected by anxiety, depression and panic attacks. With many deaths around them, they are not able to cope with the trauma. As we pass through the phase of pandemic, mental health deterioration will be noted and grief counselling will be required.”

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