‘Communicate with the people you love’ while in coronavirus lockdown: Psychologist

Residents wearing face masks dance, Beijing, China, March 1, 2020. (File photo: Reuters)

Communicating with loved ones is important to surviving the effects of the coronavirus lockdown as people become increasingly isolated, according to advice from a senior psychologist in the UAE.

The ongoing spread of the deadly coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has prompted authorities across the world to close down public places and tell people to stay in their homes, with some countries such as Italy under complete shutdown. These measures are unprecedented on this scale and some have worried about the effects they could have on people’s mental health.

“Reorganize your life and communicate with the people you love,” advised Mario Aoun, clinical psychologist at Healthpoint, a UAE healthcare provider that is part of Mubadala Healthcare, told Al Arabiya English.

While the outbreak has put strain on human relations and led to some limited cases of stockpiling, Aoun pointed to some of the positive changes in behavior.

“We’ve seen lots of love and lots of people taking care of each other. We see chaos, that’s true, but human beings have proven so far that they have great faith and they will manage to get over it,” he said.

With families spending more time together in the home while under lockdown, Aoun said that this should be viewed as an opportunity, and not a punishment.

“It can be an opportunity for rebuilding and better communicating, and give time to ourselves, give time to our relationship, which are priorities, because this is a real priority. Work is important only if we have a good family,” he explained.

The coronavirus worldwide

The coronavirus has so far infected over 180,000 people worldwide, with over 7,100 dead. Nearly 80,000 have recovered.

The Arabian Gulf reported its first fatality on Monday of a 65-year-old woman in Bahrain. According to the country’s Ministry of Health she had been suffering from underlying and chronic health problems and was a registered COVID-19 case.

In the Middle East, authorities have continued to up coronavirus measures, with borders shut to most neighboring countries, while flights have also been severely curtailed. In Saudi Arabia, the government has urged people to stay at home. Meanwhile, the UAE has continued to shutdown more public places, with Dubai announcing the closure of all hotel bars, pubs and lounges on Monday, in addition to previous suspensions of all theme parks, entertainment and wedding destinations, including night clubs, cinemas and concerts and all gyms, gaming centers, and spring camps.

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Last Update: 05:16 KSA 08:16 - GMT 05:16
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