Stress during Covid 19 Pandemic

The corona virus hit our shores here in South Africa in March 2020. At the time of writing this article it has been with us for 16 months. The stress levels during covid 19 are starting to show in many peoples lives.

What does Covid 19 stand for

‘CO’ stands for CORONA, ‘VI’ for Virus and ‘D’ for disease. CoronaVirus Disease of 2019 hence the name COVID 19. The virus originated in Wuhan City, China.

The Third Wave

We here in South Africa are experiencing our third wave which seems to have reached its peak. For me it has been the most devastating wave so far. We have lost friends and Acquaintances and know of many people amongst our family and friends that have thankfully recovered.

Stress during covid 19 pandemic

Much of the nation may not have caught the actual virus but the Covid 19 virus has affected many peoples lives. So we can say that many, although not ill, suffer from the virus. This in my mind presents itself as stress.

I think we all feel the added stress caused by this pandemic. We are bombarded daily via social media and the news on deaths and other disturbing facts caused by the covid 19 virus.

What is stress

Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger, whether it’s real or imagined, the body’s defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight or flight” reaction or the “stress response.”

During a normal Stressful situation the bodies nervous system releases stress hormones including adrenalin and cortisol. These hormones help the body react to any threat by increasing strength, sharpening your senses, raising your blood pressure and tightening your muscles.

This is all great when it does not last long and the body can return to its normal state.

Long term or chronic stress

When these stressors that cause the stress hormones to be released are always present it can have adverse effects on the body. Long term exposure to cortisol and adrenalin puts you at risk to health and mental problems like:

  • Depression
  • headaches
  • heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Sleeping problems
  • memory and concentration problems
  • muscle tension
  • aggressiveness

There are more I’m sure but these are the symptoms I see in people around me. I too suffer from this long term Stress during Covid 19 pandemic.

Personally I battle with falling asleep with my thoughts constantly running around in circles with everything that is going on around me. I worry about the health and wellbeing of my family and friends.

After the untimely passing of one of my wife’s and my dearest friends things became very real. She tested positive for covid 19 and a few days later she was gone.

Further causes of stress

There has been many people in South Africa that have lost their jobs. This being due to the Covid 19 lockdowns which has caused many companies to close or to retrench staff.

Families have no income and they have to rely on the generosity of others to see them through these hardships. Can you imagine the stress these people are going through.

Then we had the looting that happened in Natal and certain parts of Gauteng. Businesses were looted, destroyed and some even burnt down. The job losses are huge! This was totally a shocker to a country already battling a failing economy.

How to survive the Stress during Covid 19

I have read various articles on how to combat the stress. They all talk about eating right, exercise, meditation and so on. These are important but, personally, I think we should look at the way we interact with others.

Be there for each other and show compassion and kindness. There is way too much bitchiness and aggression towards each other. We after all in this together, fighting to stay sane and alive.

By being kind to each other and pulling together you will lower your stress level and the people around you stress level. Spread some love and make each other happy. You will be amazed at how this makes you and those around you feel better.

Just remember the social distancing and sanitizing.