The society’s response to Covid-19

 By Pigmalión GT

The situation we are experiencing has transformed us in many ways. The fear or indifference we may have in situations like this can come into our lives and change them. Each family has been affected in different ways; economically, morally, physically and socially; but what happens when a family member, or ourselves get the virus? Life changes and anxiety is present in our minds; we go through stages of confusion, stress and grief. Whether our loved ones are hospitalized away from us or remain at home in quarantine, our perspective changes and our mood deteriorates with the passing of the days, and after weeks there are consequences accumulated by the confinement.

In the same way, a feeling of fear and insecurity develops both for our families and for ourselves. Due to ignorance of the disease, lack of medical care or the limited to no information we may have from our hospitalized relatives, great frustration is generated. There are also those who have suffered the loss of family or friends from covid-19 and have had to deal with all these feelings about the situation lived- in with their families. Staying informed makes us more prepared, knowing about the state of our or our family members by any means, provides calm and allows us to understand the situation a little more thoroughly, as well as helping us not to isolate ourselves.

Constantly, we talk about the different treatments and ways to deal with the virus, as well as mechanisms to protect us; but more is known about the aftermath in patients. Many health specialists provide experiences, tips and tools to deal with the pandemic. Our attitude has been changing due to new information acquired periodically. Perspectives depend heavily on our environment, family core, attitudes, and the information to which we are exposed. People can find a point at which acceptance and protection can keep them safe, without panicking. Conversely, if people remain in permanent denial, they come to excessive carelessness and put themselves and those around them at risk.

When the environment in which we are (family, community, neighborhoods or certain zones shared with others) becomes tense, the distrust of communicating whether a family member is sick increases disproportionately because discrimination against sick people is perceived, reaching extreme cases where brutal attacks, damage to property, insults and threats occur. In the face of this, the question can be asked how can we show more empathetic attitudes towards others? Putting ourselves in each other’s position, imagining the different situations they live, is often complicated, because we feel vulnerable. One of the biggest obstacles we can find is the fear of contracting the disease, which is compounded by the complicated situation of health systems, saturated or without resources, which gives us unalenting forecasts. This vulnerability causes little support towards those with the virus and their families.

Even for those who have lost family members due to other causes, the current context has not allowed their grieving process to take place in the same way, as everything has become more complex. Under the measures of social distancing, physical contact has been left in the background and for a society like ours, accustomed to providing support through hugs and closeness, it remains to be demonstrated through gestures and kind words. Therefore, it is important to remain united in this situation, being isolated should not be synonymous with emotional estrangement. Providing constant support and communication to those facing this situation and their families will keep us all strong and allow us to overcome not only the current situation, but other similar situations that arise in the future.

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