Will the virus strengthen? Will it mutate? When will a new wave hit, if at all? Will it be more or less fatal? And what of the possibility of a second period of lockdown/quarantine?
These are traumatic times we are living through in Jerusalem and throughout the world, without a doubt, as individuals and as societies. The physical death toll may be under some control right now, but the mental, societal, and social costs are climbing higher.
As for life after the current lockdown is lifted (or reduced) – here is the good news: the best things to do are the same things you may already be doing. Hand-washing and sanitizing, physical distancing, wearing a mask.
Likewise, you’re encouraged to stay home if you’re sick, and to practice isolation until COVID-19 infection can be ruled out. The fact is we may not be back to “normal” for a long time. You can expect things will be different for the foreseeable future. No one really knows how things will turn out, meaning we must be as cautious as possible as we learn more about the virus and its implications.
As we wait and see about a possible second wave, keep these tips in mind:
- It probably won’t be necessary to stock up on tons of things. However, the essentials (i.e. meds, hygiene products, items you personally consider to be important) should be readily available to you.
- Some regulations may still be in effect after lockdown is lifted. This means your mindset still needs to be geared towards health and safety, for yourself and for others.
- Make an attempt to keep (or re-establish) as many routines as you can. In the wake of the first waves of the virus, we’ve all had to make changes and sacrifices. Part of getting better is getting back some measure of your older life.
- Try to be realistic. There is a good chance we won’t be back to what we consider “normal” for a long while. But it doesn’t all have to be bad. It’s about making the best of a tough situation.
- It’s wise to be involved and informed, but don’t burden yourself needlessly with news coverage and social media posts pertaining to the virus. Some things are under your control, and others are not.
- Work-home balance has been heavily disrupted. Many are struggling to get work done, while others have lost their job altogether! Try to reconstruct a viable balance/schedule, and don’t be afraid to speak to HR if you find things are not working out.
- Be mentally prepared for that new wave to be more difficult, and possibly deadlier. The measures which were put in place during the first wave may not be as effective the next time, according to some experts. With that being said, while it’s most prudent to be prepared for anything, other experts believe the worst may now be behind us.
- Stress and anxiety are soaring amid the hysteria and worry. Take some time for yourself when you can: whether it’s a walk outside, music, meditation, yoga, or any other relaxing activity.
Ultimately the best thing we can do is prioritize our health as much as is reasonably possible, something I stress to my patients at דיקור סיני ירושלים. Understanding that a transition back to normalcy as we fight to overcome the virus is what we can likely expect, as opposed to a sudden and instant flip of the switch back to the way things were, is critical.