I am extremely concerned that while we rightfully battle with the practical aspects of the Coronavirus, we are overlooking the severe impact it is having on our collective mental health.
The uncertainty, the yo-yoing infection rates, the daunting prospects of a fourth wave, the restrictions and job losses, the constantly mutating virus leading to seemingly never-ending illness and death and the anti-vaxxers confusing the ignorant.
Grim stories of overflowing mortuaries, people dying in hospital parking lots and the inability to mourn properly don’t make it any easier.
Add loadshedding and increased prices to the list, and you have a perfect storm, bound to easily deflate the moods of even the most optimistic among us.
So it isn’t exactly surprising that there are reports of serious depression taking hold of people across the world.
The SA Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) is reporting a doubling of their daily call ins – from 600 pre-pandemic to 1 400 now.
And that excludes SMSes, emails, WhatsApp chats and social media requests.
These are all from depressed and anxious South Africans seeking help.
And according to them, the country’s suicide rate has been steadily climbing since the first lockdown, and is now at an all-time high.
Young adults are being hit especially hard, with many forced to move back in with their parents, while negotiating an uncertain economy, hesitant to hire new recruits.
It’s hard to remain positive and joyful in these crazy times.
Many people are simply cracking under the immense financial pressure caused by salary reductions and job losses; and not to mention the constant phone calls from creditors, equally desperate to keep the businesses afloat.
I just want to tell you that it will eventually be OK.
These are all just temporary setbacks that are out of your hands.
And you must take consolation from the fact that you are not alone in this.
No matter how tough it gets for you, there are people going through even tougher times.
And your life and survival is worth a lot more than any of the problems you are currently experiencing.
Just hang on. We will all get through this together.