Covid-19 impact on our mental health

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I published a lengthy Facebook post at our MyKmagazine page. It’s about my struggle when I tested positive in the antigen test. It was a horrible experience for me, something I will never want to happen to anyone. I agree with NCBI, “A pandemic is not just a medical phenomenon; it affects individuals and society and causes disruption, anxiety, stress, stigma, and xenophobia”. Covid-19 impact on our mental health is alarming and I personally experienced it’s effect to my psychological and emotional well-being. And I didn’t even contracted the virus.

The Antigen Test

I took the antigen test so I can attend market meeting in BGC. The result, POSITIVE. According to articles I read, a positive antigen test reflects active infection. It’s quicker than PCR but the downside is, increased testing speed decreased the accuracy. I got the result in less than an hour. I suspect that it’s really inaccurate. Because I don’t feel any symptoms at all! I was never exposed to anyone with Covid-19, very meticulous when going out (mostly home-office). And I keep a healthy diet, how come?

That same day, our company nurse asked me to take PCR test. Our EHS director came to my desk asking me to go to hospital as instructed. Unluckily, my phone was water damaged and cannot contact my family. My officemates gave me their extra phone and unused SIM and I am so thankful for that. Still not sure if I will tell my husband. Where will I go? Do I need to isolate? What about my kids, my father who’s already a senior? A lot of things came to my mind. And I just realized that I will die not because of the virus but of worry!

The company driver took me home so I went to shower immediately. I sanitized and put all my things in the plastic, ate lunch, locked my room and got back to work. How can I explain to my kids that they can’t come near me? Naturally they’re about to hug me (but begged them not to) and confronted me why I came home early. I made an excuse and continued working.

Related article: The ordeal of the first Filipino to test positive with COVID-19

The endless waiting for PCR result

The night of endless waiting was the worst! I could not sleep. I imagined that I can hear a ticking bomb. And I will wake up with an ambulance in front of our house, ready to take me. My whole family will be discriminated, examined like a science experiment! And will be in quarantine for 14 days or 14 years according to my husband. I silently cried, uttered my prayers and played calming spiritual songs hoping it will give me rest. It took a whole day before the result was out. NEGATIVE!

I shouted, Thank you Lord! Danced like crazy with tears of joy. My family’s safe. I did not even think of myself because I believe I can survive it but the effect to my family? I cannot handle. This is just a portion of what other people who tested positive suffered. It’s taking a toll on us and I WANT THIS TO END BUT HOW?

If you are experiencing this too or you are suffering so much more, know that you are not alone! You can survive it! I decided to post this because I know that you need to hear this. There are so many people who loves you and praying for you. You are a strong person and this too shall pass! If this will not end soon, maybe we also need to create a support group for this. Or a hotline to call just to keep us sane? I don’t know but I’m truly grateful for my friends and family who prayed with me. And is it too much to wish for the result not to take overnight?

Prayers, family and friends around us (messaging us), being optimistic! These will help to lessen Covid-19 impact on our mental health. Let me end this with a Bible verse. Matthew 6:25-27.  “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life. What you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air. They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”

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