I can’t take it anymore.
Thousands of thoughts running through my head. Everywhere my head turn, everywhere I look, there it is.
Quarantine. Isolation. Death. Infection. Borders closing. Flights canceled. People stuck abroad. Don’t know what to do, where to go, who to turn to. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Countries locking down.
I don’t want to miss out on the news.
But I don’t want to be bombarded by it either.
And it’s not just the news.
Every single day I get Whatsapp messages — sometimes phone calls — telling me the latest situation and updates, which I don’t mind because ignorance is not always a bliss but when people are trying to convince you that you should be very, very scared…
It is so bizarre.
Those of us residing in Singapore have experienced this madness since January 2020. 23rd January 2020.
Fear had spread like wildfire as the number of cases rose.
I see the number of people in public dwindling down. Restaurants have less patron and the train was less packed. Many of my family and friends called, telling me the wisest thing for me to do at the time would be to go home.
But the rest of the world was doing just fine.
The topic of coronavirus popped up more and more often as days went by. I saw international news channels broadcasting updates of the situation, in China, in Singapore and later on in South Korea. The rest of the world seemed to be following the news closely but were doing just fine.
Not worrying excessively like the people here in Singapore.
Other than Singapore, there was never any news about people buying hand sanitizers and toilet rolls in bulk or stockpiling non-perishable food.
I would logged in to Medium and wonder if it was all just a dream.
No one was writing about Coronavirus or Covid-19. There were a few mentions here and there and as the situation slowly escalated, I got a number of concerned enquiries from my fellow Medium friends who live abroad, checking up on me, asking what’s the situation like with the virus (Thank you for caring, guys. I really appreciate it).
I wrote a couple of pieces on the subject of Coronavirus:
Coronavirus: Updates from Singapore
“How’s the situation in Singapore? Is it really bad? I heard the shopping malls and airports are empty and people don’t…
But other than those, I rarely stumble upon the topic.
Now Medium even has a separate tab for Coronavirus.
And I’ve stumbled upon a few articles where the authors are saying we should be worried and afraid and that it’s unwise not to be.
Here’s the thing.
It’s not that we’re not scared. It’s not that we’re not worried and we’re definitely NOT taking it lightly.
It’s just that there’s only so long you can live with constant fear tugging at the back of your mind.
You need to remember that not everyone is experiencing the same thing here. This fear, some of us have had to look it in the eye and confront it longer than the others.
We’ve been scared. We’ve been worried. At this point where things are just starting for some of you, some of us are already exhausted of constantly being scared or worried.
Months have passed. We have had to live through temperature check and scan checkpoints. A security guard once told me to sit down and wait for my body to cool down just in case the high temperature indicated by his thermometer was corona and not walking out in the sun in the middle of the day.
And when I say there’s nothing to be scared about, I mean it.
Please understand one thing. When I tell you there’s nothing to be worried or scared about, I’m not saying go outside and live like nothing is happening.
Take all the precautions and be smart about everything.
Wash and sanitize your hands regularly, avoid touching your face especially the eyes, nose and mouth area, avoid going out to crowded places (I guess the quarantine has sorted this one out) and pay extra attention to your little ones and your older family members (they are more susceptible).
I have many other steps I have taken since this whole thing start (I will share it with you soon).
A few months of living through this, I can honestly tell you that fear and worry will do you no good except eating you out from the inside.
Remember, self-care includes emotional wellbeing.
Bridget is right. Your mental health is as important as (if not more) than your physical wellbeing. Fear weakens your immune system and this is not a good time to let our guard down.
To those of you advising people to be scared and worried, I’m not asking you to stop. If you think that’s the right thing to do, by all means, go ahead. Some people do need to be reminded on the severity of the situation.
It’s also equally important to remember that everyone is at a different fear level now and the crowd you’re speaking to, some of them might have already been scared out of their mind as it is without having to read online that they should be even more scared than they already are.
Fear weakens the immune system.
Though you might have good intention, you’re not doing anybody a service by telling them they should be scared.
I am getting tired of having to see and hear about Corona every second of the day.
People need to know. People need to be informed of the danger and the seriousness of the situation.
But I need a space to dump my feelings.
I’ve been carrying my thoughts like boulders in my head and my heart.
And so this publication was borne.
This shall be my platform, my outlet during the Corona days.
Everything Corona related. Information about the disease, what to do, what not to do, the symptoms, how to cope, latest update on the situation, frustration, fear, any feeling or emotion, everything including the artwork created and pieces written in the time of quarantine.
Everything will be accepted and published here (unless there’s a good reason why the piece shouldn’t be accepted).
I have made this publication more as my own therapy space but if you want to dump your feelings too or share with people what’s the situation like in your part of the world or just simply want to share how you’re being productive and positive in this time of confinement, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment down below so I can add you as a writer.
If you do submit a piece, I will publish it the moment I get the chance to do so. This publication will publish around the clock (except when I’m sleeping of course) so if you have something Coronavirus related you wanna get off your chest, you’re very much welcome here.
Let’s walk this road together.
I have found Bridget Webber’s piece here very useful. Do check it out:
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak and Your Mental Health
Remember, self-care includes emotional wellbeing
Stay safe and take care, everyone.
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