In January of this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease, commonly known as COVID-19, as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Countries of different statuses had done what they thought was best, albeit some better than others, to prevent the spread of the virus. We have all gone through a lot these past few months, and it is understandable for a lot of us to feel scared, anxious, or stressed out.
As I said, the WHO and governments and public health authorities worldwide have made their move to fight against the virus. In a report published by the WHO back in March, they had given a few notes and reminders to the public about the virus. Things like, do not associate the virus with any specific race or nationality. This virus affects everyone and anyone, no matter the ethnicity or race. Also, we are reminded to minimize watching, reading, or listening to news about COVID-19 that may cause you to feel anxious or stressed. You also have to make sure that if you take in information about the virus, the data you consume comes from a trusted source to avoid confusion or misinformation.
Of course, many communities have been affected by this outbreak. Many have been more affected than others, but we must keep that spirit of unity within our community in this time of need and fear. We can all heal as one if we choose to keep that unity and support. Right now, there must be members of our community who are struggling, not just physically but also mentally. So, as the WHO has said, as we protect ourselves, we have to remain supportive of others.
As a community, this virus is giving us a chance to help each other out. Maybe give the neighbor a call and ask them how they are going and if they might need help. Sometimes it does not even have to be the material kind of help. Being there for someone during such a difficult time is already help that can change a whole lot for some people. No matter how strong we think that neighbor is, we still have to make sure that we are giving them the support they need and showing them that they can reach out and get the help they need if they do need help.
At the time of writing, there are currently 38,480,205 cases around the world. There might be a few cases within your town or maybe even in your neighborhood. Do not use this pandemic as a way to put out hate into this world. There is already a lot of that going around, and we do not need an additional reason for people’s mental health to decline in such a time as this.
Some changes have happened during this pandemic that might be so drastic to most of us. The economic decline due to this situation has caused millions of people to lose their jobs. For example, the Philippines has reported a 22.9% unemployment rate in August, which significantly increases from April’s record of 17.7%. However, the government has written a 10% decrease in unemployment by September 3rd, there is still a possibility of more people losing their jobs because of companies that have shut down. This is not just happening in third world countries. There are first-world countries that also experience the same struggle with their economy.
With everything that is happening, we must stay as a community that helps each other out. Right now is the best time to support that neighbor who sells jams or the accountant next door who might be doing freelance work for a few extra bucks but maybe that single parent across the street does not need help taking care of the kids, but perhaps they need a listening ear and a kind heart.
Remember that it is those small acts of human kindness that can change lives and make them better. It is the support and the care that we receive from the community that we thrive in. In any case and especially at a time as brutal as this, we must prioritize our physical and mental health. Our bodies will only be as healthy as our minds and so as we take care of our bodies. It is important that we take care of our mind and as we do so, we have also to make sure that are reaching out to our community because sometimes, people struggling with their mental health would also work with reaching out for help. Take your community and become the change that they need.