A recent article in Vox about social distancing points out that the rapid implementation of this overall strategy is necessary to flatten the coronavirus curve and prevent the current epidemic from worsening. But it points out that just as the coronavirus fallout threatens to cause an economic recession, it is also going to cause what we might call a “social recession”: a collapse in social contact that hits hard the populations most vulnerable to isolation and loneliness — older adults and people with disabilities or preexisting medical and mental health conditions such as depression, PTSD, bi-polar disorders, anxiety disorders and panic disorders.
VOX: “Coronavirus will also cause a loneliness epidemic”
I have linked the WHO guidelines on “Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak.” There is a section dedicated to “People in Isolation” that I have included below for your reference. The recommendations are straight-forward that can help provide additional advice to your clients, and your own family and friends.
WHO GUIDELINES -- People in Isolation
22. Stay connected and maintain your social networks. Even in situations of isolations, try as much as possible to keep your personal daily routines. If health authorities have recommended limiting your physical social contact to contain the outbreak, you can stay connected via e-mail, social media, video conference and telephone.
23. During times of stress, pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly, keep regular sleep routines and eat healthy food. Keep things in perspective. Public health agencies and experts in all countries are working on the outbreak to ensure the availability of the best care to those affected.
24. A near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel anxious or distressed. Seek information updates and practical guidance at specific times during the day from health professionals and WHO website and avoid listening to or following rumors that make you feel uncomfortable.”
For more AMHCA resources on the coronavirus, please go to: https://www.amhca.org/blogs/joel-miller/2020/03/12/the-coronavirus-and-covid19-resources-on-what-you