The Hidden Dangers of a Pandemic

I expect that, like many, you are now working from home, struggling to get your IT to work.  If you’re anything like me, you are also rapidly putting on weight as you raid the fridge with ever-increasing frequency and drinking more than you usually would.  At this rate, if the Coronavirus doesn’t get me, obesity and liver disease will!

Other than the physical impacts of self-isolating, we need to be aware of the impacts that this state can have on the mental health of our friends, family and of course, ourselves.

I read yesterday about the suicide of a young girl in the UK who had lost her job, joined the nation in self-isolating and made the tragic decision that she couldn’t see a future for herself.  Her story has already fallen off the news feeds – another statistic amongst a sea of data – but I fear that she won’t be the last before we see COVID-19 under control.

With so much change, uncertainty, heath concerns and, for many, the harsh reality of unemployment and financial loss, now more than ever we need to stay connected with friends and family and keep our minds and bodies active.

At EG, we have a daily team meeting on video conference to talk about the day ahead, but also to check in with each other on a personal note. We share our ups and downs, our family news, our predictions and our anxieties. We’ve even shared our fitness tips to help combat those fridge raiding habits and break in routines.

All of us have also made a commitment to reach out to a different friend, family member or professional colleague every day to see how they are going in these uncertain times. This connection is encouraging for both parties. It helps keep to our experiences in perspective and to practice gratitude together. We encourage others to do the same.

EG’s friends at the Black Dog Institute, the mental health research charity, have created a series of apps and challenges to help us all.  Head to their website to see the resources they already have online, with more added regularly to support us all as we work with the stresses of the current situation – they are doing an amazing job as always.

In a world where we are empowered to be so connected through IT (when it works), many have never felt so isolated and alone. It’s important to remember that we need only physical, not social, isolation to get control of this virus. We can and should use this time to strengthen and deepen our connectedness, for the sake of our collective health and for the wellness of our community.