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How COVID-19 Has Affected My Hypochondria

The fear of a pandemic can be paralyzing to the mental state.

By The Writing CasperPublished 4 years ago 3 min read

When reports about COVID-19 began to circulate in the United States, I wasn't alarmed whatsoever. There was no valid reason for me to panic. But as weeks passed, I began to worry as a result of the pandemic status. Also, the disease having made its way into the states after having been carried by individuals who were affected.

My phobia of temporary illnesses (for example, the common cold or a stomach virus) began during my childhood. I would avoid speaking to peers who were contagious and my distant stance would often leave them puzzled. They didn't understand it wasn't personal toward them as individuals, but rather toward the symptoms which I dreaded. Whether those symptoms consisted of coughing, a high-grade fever, or even vomiting, I tried my best to shield myself. Although I'm aware of airborne germs, I had the idea that if I relied on isolation I would be less vulnerable.

I had always been hygienically conscious. The declaration, "Wash your hands!" isn't new to me as I made sure to do so whenever I used a public restroom. To eat and/or drink after someone was (and still is) an absolute no-no in my eyes; despite that someone being a significant other or a family member. Also, depending on how close I was standing to someone during a conversation, caution would overcome me. I would do so without realizing because I had conditioned myself to react instinctively in that manner. It may have been interpreted as rude by others, who were on the outside looking in, while I didn't intend to be.

Even now, as an adult, I maintain the same stance. I just can't understand how the importance of hygiene isn't encouraged and precautions aren't valued at any other time. It shouldn't have to take a pandemic to do so which could be at a time when it's too late. But of course, that is just my own perspective and one which may contrast the perspectives of others.

Honestly, for me, the affect is mental rather than physical. I know, first-hand, that it isn't a walk in the park. The possibility of a doorknob being contaminated before I touch it may seem trivial, but the caution is definitely normal. Or walking into a grocery store which is filled with so many customers that I would have to push my way through them.

The process of hypochondria and the cycle of an episode/Source: Healthline.com

As I'm writing this, thoughts such as: "I can't wait until this passes" and "If I do leave the house, I'll have to walk around with a face mask and latex gloves in public" are racing through my mind. And then there is, "Please don't let me get it" while pleading unto myself. Honestly, I have no idea what my hypochondria stems from, nor the onset of it, but it has certainly intensified. A few slight aches in my right wrist (which is more likely brought on by using my PC mouse for extensive periods of time) or a brief pain over one of my eyes (which is possibly eye strain) stops me in my tracks. Literally, I obsess over it until I tire myself and then I disregard it.

Face masks, anti-bacterial wipes, disinfectant, and hand sanitizer are items I'm far too familiar with. They're the precautions which I had resorted to using just to be on the safe side. But those same items have become "lifelines", for many individuals who are trying to be as hygienic as possible, in the midst of the pandemic.

As far as handling the exhaustion from using the energy to have little to no contact with others, it's difficult. If it were possible to live in a plastic bubble, I would be in one right now. Not only that, I would probably take up residency as well as stay for as long as I possibly could. However, I'm aware that will remain nothing more than a fantasy.

There is a belief, among some individuals, that an illness can manifest after having obsessed about it for a certain period of time. Some individuals may even conclude it's possible to speak or/and think it into existence. Perhaps it's true or false. But I think it may be along the line of a coincidence.

A representation of the connection of the brain to the other functions of the human body/Source: Healthline.com

When I think of super-foods, I consider the effort to boost the immune system. I mean that in terms of eating them on a regular basis rather than during a pandemic. The aim is the prevent becoming affected to where it bounces off of someone whose immune system is strong. However, this isn't to imply that super-foods are magic. They provide nutrients, but there is no telling if they either are or aren't capable of being forms of protection.

Overall, I have no doubt there are individuals out there who can relate to this and have been stuck in limbo. Who are hesitant to leave their safe-haven while worried they'll cross paths with someone who will exhibit symptoms. And also, who wish and hope the pandemic will subside soon.

coping

About the Creator

The Writing Casper

I am an avid writer.

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    The Writing CasperWritten by The Writing Casper

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