Feeling short of breath?
As you know that is one of the screening questions when entering a facility that one must answer. Shortness of breath used to be something people with COPD ( chronic obstruction pulmonary disease) exhibited, or overweight people during mild exertion. Many other conditions that cause it, but now it is one of the most devastating symptoms of COVID 19 that presents in both young and old.
There is another reason for shortness of breath that is not related to physical ailments. PANIC and ANXIETY. These two are running rampant among the entire human civilization. How can one know if it is stress, anxiety or panic vs. virus? Besides having the test done and waiting for the results you can try to eliminate sources of stress.
If you are a healthcare provider, take some time off. If your employer does not understand it’s ok to mention SHORTNESS OF BREATH. Go get the test done to alleviate fear. Find something that brings you joy and focus on that. I have written many posts about the importance of focus. Linked here and here. All the good thoughts in the world are useless unless one focuses on them. Practice pulling your thoughts back to the good that is around you.
Remember to breathe. Focus on each breath. Find a quiet place, preferably outside, take a moment to listen to the air coming in and going out. Notice any tense muscles and stretch them. Try self massage if able to reach. Focus on relaxing them. Whenever you feel short of breath, focus, regroup and remain calm.
Try this CALM app. It is free to try out. I love it especially the nighttime stories.
The following is a list of the psychosocial effects the pandemic has had on humans and measures to help: taken from this webpage.
COVID-19 positive patients and quarantined individuals
• Depression ✓ Secure communication-channel between patient and family
✓ Delivery of progress-reports and discussion with families on further treatment plans through telephone, video-calls, whatsapp, e-mail etc. 
✓ Close monitoring of mental state of quarantined persons dusing tools like impact of event scale-revised (IES-R) and through smartphone technology 
✓ In-time referral
✓ Psychotherapy by stress-adaptation model 
✓ Psychiatric follow-up post-discharge, if needed
Health care providers
• Fear of worthlessness
• Overwhelming work-pressure
• Deprivation of family while being in quarantine
• Fear of infection and outcomes
• Substance abuse ✓ Support from Higher authority 
✓ Clear communication and regular accurate updates regarding precautionary measures [37,56]
✓ Sustained connection with family and friends through smartphone
✓ Shorter working duration, regular rest period, rotating shifts 
✓ Sufficient supply of appropriate PPE 
✓ Arrangements for well-equipped isolation wards specific for infected HCPs, insurance-system for work-related injuries 
✓ Long term psychological follow-up
• Anxiety related to educational development
• Developmental issues
• Fear of infection ✓ Proper parenting
✓ Online classes, online study material
✓ Clear, direct, open and detailed information about disease transmission and precautionary measures
✓ Maintenance of sleep cycle, physical exercise schedule
✓ Educate about proper hygiene practice 
• Irritability, anger, fear, anxiety, cognitive decline
• Deprivation from pre-scheduled check-up and/or follow-up sessions
•Difficulties in accessing medicines due to travel restriction and lockdown ✓ Home-based physical exercise during quarantine 
✓ Sessions via telephone, online video-conference for physician guidance and mental health services [117,118]
✓ Essential drug-delivery system via online approach
• Financial insecurity
• Stigma of discrimination
• Health crime
✓ Protection of basic human rights 
✓ Providing proper accommodation [109,110]
✓Adequate food and waters supply from government and NGO 
✓ Affordable health care delivery
✓ Education about social distancing, hygiene
✓ Deploy mental health social worker to address specific need and referral to psychiatrists, if needed
Psychiatric /homeless patients
• Hampered routine psychiatric follow-up
✓ Structured letter therapy 
✓ Counseling via telephone, online chat
✓ Online based psycho-reduction therapies 
✓ Proper supply of prescribed medications
Notice under old age a home based physical exercise program is suggested. Please consider my free 30 day email series to get you out of the slump and boost your immune system with a little laughter each day.