We’re in the middle of a pandemic. As we watch helplessly as India’s physical health deteriorates and as we fight to try and get resources for the sick; we miss helping an entire group of people. They do not look unhealthy. They may not suffer outwardly. But they are declining rapidly, some even more rapidly than our patients that need oxygen. People are not just suffering physically. They are suffering mentally as well.
We are in the middle of a pandemic- mental and physical.
Mental health though invisible to the naked eye for the most part is as deadly as physical illness and sickness is. And unfortunately this is the type of breathlessness that can’t be fixed with oxygen no matter how much it’s given. These are the tachycardia attacks that don’t go away with medication and this is the sadness that is so profound and deep that it hurts infinitely more than physical pain can often/
And how do we fix it?
We don’t. We assume it’ll go away.
News and newspapers are culprits of the worst kind. They prey on selling fear. When you have a country who you could influence through your words ,you choose to spread fear. The job of the news paper used to be to report facts. Now we’re filled with headlines that put gossip rags to shame. We’re the gossipy aunt that would rather give you unverified gossip to scare you knowing that it’s the fear that sells, which in turn drives ad sales!
And what newspapers do this on a macro level; WhatsApp groups do this on a micro level. Whatsapp groups sprouted like bad mould growing on cake and have been growing faster with every day that passes. Unverified news spreads with the aim to cause panic and fear and the Negative Nelly’s becomes admins of multiple groups. It seems like all that’s shared is sadness and fear. And this only adds to those going through depression.
You have a choice. Just like we mask up and sanitise to try and stay safe from the Virus, we can choose what we’d like to spread. Even if you’re not spreading the coronavirus , by selling fear and sadness you are spreading depression- which is a very real, very scary condition which may take a lot longer than 14 days to fix.
So I mute the WhatsApp groups and remove myself from a few; and cancel a daily newspaper (gossip rag). There’s enough negativity in the world and to keep my health (mental) up… I think I might need to surround myself with people, puppies and things that make me feel more positive. I’m no help to the world as a Debbie Downer. And I can’t afford illness -physical or mental- in fact neither can any of us.
We may not be able to fight Covid. But we can fight the negativity and sadness that’s growing. That’s the one thing we can do.
P.s. (Palat says)-: It may be hard to find anything positive to wake up to but remember you have been chosen to live- so live with gratitude, joy and love. And try and inspire this in those around you.