Covid-19 & Staying at Home: How to cope ?

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Most of the psychological adverse effects of a quarantine come from the imposition of restrictions on freedom*. 

It is time to get INFORMED so that staying at home becomes an individual and altruistic choice !


Why stay at home ? 

To slow down the spread of the virus so that everyone who needs a hospital bed can get one.

If everyone gets seriously ill at the same time:

  • A&E departments get overcrowded and don’t have enough hospital beds & equipment for everyone.

DECREASE in the number of intensive care beds,

INCREASE in the number of deaths

  • Shortage of staff to care for Covid-19 patients and others, in hospital and in the community.

Emotions & Lockdown

  • Anxiety & worry about your own and loved ones’ health
  • Frustration due to not feeling in control
  • Anger against those who do not understand the seriousness of the situation
  • Loneliness, Boredom
  • Ambivalence

How to cope?

Remember it is TEMPORARY !

Prevent physical tiredness and mental fatigue

  • Exercise indoors or alone outdoors (walk outside, run, practice gym /yoga / pilates with help from videos…) 
  • Eat healthy
  • Maintain a daily routine (get up in the morning, have a shower, get dressed…)

Beat loneliness

  • Stay in touch regularly with family and friends (eat meals or have tea together over video calls) 
  • Help neighbours
  • Show solidarity

Beat boredom and frustration

  • Make photo albums
  • Read
  • Watch movies, TV shows or drama
  • Listen to music, podcasts, radio
  • Craft (sewing, painting, carpentry, DIY…)
  • Play video games
  • Use museums virtual visits
  • Play together online
  • Take online courses like MOOCs

Prevent anxiety-inducing confusion

Select 2-3 trustworthy sources of information and check them at fixed hours, not all the time !

Avoid panic, be prepared

  • Gather what you will need if you get ill (thermometer, tissues, paracetamol…) 
  • Get any repeat prescriptions ahead of time
  • Shop for groceries, have a plan in case you get ill.

Avoid getting infected and passing it on 

Follow recommendations : wash hands with soap (indoors) or gel (outdoors), keep your distance from others (2ft). Do not shake hands. Do not hug. Cough or sneeze in your elbow, not your hands.

Beat stress

  • Meditate regularly
  • Maintain indoors individual religious activities
  • Be mindful that anxiety, worries and loneliness are expected feelings in this unusual situation
  • Do not blame yourself

Everyone’s efforts and sacrifices will save lives, those of loved ones!


* The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence, Samantha K Brooks, et al, Lancet 2020; 395: 912–20