Where's the needle? The health minister getting a fake flu shot, Now that’s convincing.
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Over the past few months, the coronavirus pandemic seemed to stay out of the African continent. Coronavirus came around in the world's largest concentration of people with HIV. However this is no longer the case as people are now starting to prepare for the worst.
The first cases of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa were confirmed just three weeks ago but the rate of infection in countries like South Africa is climbing easily.
With more than 200 people infected, the government has announced that schools are shutting down and large gatherings are banned.
The police is arresting citizens who test positive to the coronavirus and refuse to go into quarantine.
However, the authorities can't stop the coronavirus spreading and just about everyone in this country understands it, including South Africa's health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.
"In any community, 60% to 70% of the population will be affected by the virus. We can't hide that... most of us will have this virus," he told a group of doctors in the capital Pretoria.
He asked the nation to be careful and understand the harmful effects of coronavirus, while South Africa has "unique dynamics" he said, with the world's largest concentration of people with HIV, plus a significant number with tuberculosis.
Just a few months ago, quarantine and the new conditions of social distance were unimaginable for most of the world’s population. Now, isolation, uncertainty, and the loss of former ways of being are a new reality to which one has to adapt. Naturally, we can find in ourselves and loved ones a variety of reactions to what is happening: denial, depreciation, fear of infection, frustration, boredom, anger, and stressful reactions to resources (food, money, housing). Many people may encounter emotional and psychological difficulties during this period, including those who were sufficiently stable before the crisis.
You can respond with a series of “symptoms” to what is happening. Maybe you:
- began to worry more and worry about your health,
- have difficulty sleeping and eating
- problematic fall asleep and out of focus
- experiencing an exacerbation of chronic diseases
- increased the amount of alcohol, nicotine, and other substances consumed.
It is important to note that all the reactions that appear are normal, it is useful to notice them and take appropriate care to yourself and relatives. Man by nature is a social animal. And of course, the loss of habitual social functioning and isolation can cause us anxiety, depression and feelings of helplessness.
The World Health Organization published an appeal to the world population with recommendations regarding the preservation of psychological health. Among them:
- Maintain your social connections. Physical isolation in modern times is not an obstacle to emotional or professional connectedness.
- Call, write to each other, conduct video conferences.
- Try as much as possible to adhere to the personal schedule, structure of the day.
- In stressful moments, pay attention to your needs and feelings.
- Include healthy activities that you like and help you relax in your daily schedule.
- Engage your body, stick to your sleep schedule, take care of food quality.
- A constant powerful flow of news about the dynamics of the virus can contribute to the emergence of anxiety. Select a specific time of day at which you can keep track of WHO news and practice. Avoid rumors and unverified sources of information.
Seeking support in difficult times is normal. If your social structure is not enough to help you stabilize, you can go to an online psychologist or join an online therapeutic group. The European Association of Psychotherapy has published an appeal about supporting the online format of psychotherapy as a quarantine crisis measure.