Today is March 20th, 2020. The first day of spring. Happy Nowruz to all those who celebrate the new year. Iranians, among few other nations, have the first day of spring as their new year.
While new year celebrations involve visiting others and sharing delicious food, this year will be quiet. I hope it is quiet. Let’s continue the social isolation. Let’s continue to practice proper hand hygiene. Let’s self-isolate if you are feeling unwell. Let’s think about the vulnerable population and the elder members of the family.
My blog posts are usually meant for clinicians. This time, I am writing to every one, since dealing with COVID-19 is beyond the work of clinicians and healthcare system.
While you monitor your physical health, please don’t forget about your mental health. There are various electronic and video communication options that allow you to connect with others. Call the elderly to check-up on them. If you know someone in isolation, ask if they require groceries (being dropped behind their door).
Those who experienced SARS in 2003 may experience higher levels of anxiety around this time (especially clinicians). Make sure you connect with proper resources, support and intervention if required.
Give yourself mental breaks. Find a few trusted sources for news and COVID-19, and only review those. Constantly reading about it may induce increased anxiety. ( www.RTSO.ca is one of my trusted sources.)
Find appropriate stretches and exercises that can be safely done at home. Stay hydrated. Use this opportunity to stop smoking. Pick up that book that you always intended to read!
Don’t forget about the positive. Give gratitude for the good in your life. There are many great people who are doing their best to help out. A quick shout out to respiratory therapists and clinicians who continue to work to keep us healthy. Fatima Foster is creating a supportive online community for clinicians who are experiencing some anxiety around this time. John Meloche from Melotel Inc. is using the resources in his company to support communities and organizations who have non-for-profit COVID-19 support groups. There are many more examples if you look for them!
Have a happy, healthy, and quiet Nowruz!