Everyone’s panicking during the lockdown because of the Coronavirus. There’s panic buying. There’s the trending tag #LuzonLockdown. People are getting tense even going as far as wanting to slap politicians for their inaction. But without the lockdown, the situation would have gotten worse. And knowing how people cough and sneeze on other people, no kidding that we can all get it.

Other than COVID-19, there’s an unknown killer that sleeps in the shadows. And that killer? This killer is known as Stress.

But we have dealt with stress before!

Yes, we have but the limitations are what make things more stressful.  We cope with stress by hanging out with friends, buying stuff, or simply exploring our surroundings. But the lockdown may have removed those coping mechanisms as possible options. Thus, we have Lockdown Stress.

Lockdown Stress

Photo credit: Jilson Tiu from CNN

Lockdown Stress is composed of a lot of things, especially anxiety. Anxiety manifests in the following forms:

  1. Overthinking – Overthinking in the forms of: “OMG, what if I have Coronavirus too?”, “I have a cough! I have Coronavirus!”. These kinds of thoughts can be defined as overthinking because scientists are still working hard to find definite markers of one having Coronavirus.
  2. Following the panic buyers – People are already panic buying. The thought of possibly not having enough materials and supplies can cause anxiety in a person. Thus, people end up panic buying due to that anxiety.

With these being the common signs of suffering from Lockdown Stress, there’s also depression. However, Depression has a large number of symptoms. One of the most serious symptoms is heightened irritability, self-blame, and self-loathing. These kinds of thoughts are dangerous especially if the person suffers poor impulse control and would eventually attempt self-harm in an effort to remove the thoughts.

So how does stress affect us?

In our earlier article on Winning Pointers on how to deal with Coronavirus Stress, we mentioned that cortisol affects your immune system. Now, we will explain it here.

Cortisol is a steroid and activates whenever there’s stress. The more stressed a person is, the more cortisol is released. 

Say hello to your friend Cortisol!

When a person is stressed, their body reacts in different ways such as sweating, heating up, swelling up of the trachea (causing choking), palpitations, and the sort. This occurs because this is the body’s immune system may be overreacting to a perceived threat. To calm down, the body unleashes cortisol to slow down the white blood cells which are the ones responding to the commands of the immune system.

As more cortisol is released, your immune system is more suppressed. It stops the release of compounds in your body that will fuel your immune system. Because of that, your immune system slowly gets dormant and leaves you open to infections or the Coronavirus.

Don’t tell us to calm down!

We can’t tell you to calm down either. As we are also in the middle of this viral crisis, it’s hard to stay calm. But it’s hard also to stay constantly alert as you may be hurting more people than you think you are. It’s okay not to be okay. That’s why there are online chatrooms to talk to other people. Though it’s not much, it’ll help soothe your stress as it’ll keep your mind off the stressful thoughts.

The only reason why Coronavirus may be winning is that everyone is stressed out. It’s not about minimizing the threat Coronavirus has. But rather, to take a more intelligent approach to help the front-liners.

Non-medical practitioners can stay home and when the front-liners get home, boost them up. These people are practically giving their lives for the safety of many people in the Philippines. They are the ones fighting against the Lockdown Tag Team. Show them they’re not alone and support them.

We can’t all be damage dealers. But damage dealers don’t always get the spotlights. Supports can get it too.