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March 28, 2020

Ways suggested to deal with coronavirus situation psychologically

Peshawar

March 28, 2020

PESHAWAR: A young psychiatrist Dr Ali Ahsan Mufti has suggested ways to deal with psychologically the situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak.

The budding psychiatrist has prepared and released a short educational video to deal with the issue. The doctor, who is Medical Director of Ibadat Hospital, Peshawar, said the coronavirus has brought disaster to the world and Pakistan has been affected as well. He said much has been said and written on the coronavirus symptoms — fever, dry cough, tiredness and shortness of breath — and the harm it causes to the physical health, hence he had touched only the psychological aspects of the viral disease in the video.

In the first part of the video, Dr Ali Ahsan Mufti focused on panic, fear, self-isolation and self-quarantine in the context of the pandemic. The psychiatrist said panic and fear had gripped our society like other countries of the world since the outbreak the COVID-19 in December, last year which has affected almost 560,000 people and taken over 25,000 lives the world over.

“If you either feel fever, dry cough (cough without phlegm), fatigue and shortness of breath or have met a person who tested positive for coronavirus, you should either get yourself examined by the nearest doctor or turn to the nearby hospital as you will get the best treatment only at the hospital. You may transmit this virus to your near and dear ones if you remain at home with these symptoms,” said the doctor in the video. Dr Ali Ahsan Mufti, who is a researcher and trainer and has contributed to Horizon organization which works in the mental health sector said those who don’t have these symptoms, need not get panicked or fearful but should adopt precautionary pleasures.

“You should instead remain in self-isolation or self-quarantine as a precautionary measure. Even those who show the symptoms need not be panicked or become fearful as the patients suffering from this viral disease have a high percentage of the recovery. The virus finishes in 95 percent of patients in two to three weeks if they are extended the required treatment in time,” opined the psychiatrist. In the next part of the video, the doctor took up the issue of self-isolation or self-quarantine or remaining alone at home.

“People are not feeling comfortable with the homestay. I have heard them complaining that they have been imprisoned at own homes. I will advise such people to utilize this time to bring improvement in their lives and those of others,” he added.

“This is the time for you to strengthen your link with Allah Almighty and get closer to Him. You can do that by reciting the Holy Quran. This time should also be used to cement your affinity bond with your elders, children and other family members,” he argued.

The doctor asked the people to use this time to phone up those relatives and friends whom they could not contact in the past for any reason. “Give them time as they may need you in the present difficult situation,” he explained. Dr Ali Ahsan Mufti said people can also use the time they are having at home to rediscover and redefine themselves.

“Give time to your thoughts, especially the conflicting ones which have escaped your due attention in the past and kept on bothering you. Think about them repeatedly. Give time to your thoughts daily, say for an hour, when you are alone,” suggested the doctor by calling the practice self-counselling.

The psychiatrist also laid stress on exercise and diet. “Take exercise and you don’t need a big space for that. This can be done in a small room of your home after logging on to YouTube. And take a healthy diet that increases your immunity,” elaborated the doctor whose services for rehabilitation and social reintegration for the affected families attracted publication as a co-author in a book “An international perspective on Disasters and Children’s Mental Health”, published in US.

Dr Ali Ahsan Mufti promised to make two more short videos on self-counselling and self-isolation which, he said, were in a greater need in the present situation.