KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people’s mental health as well as physical health, according to doctors at the University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City, Kansas.
Doctor Steven Stites, the health system’s chief medical officer, said isolation, depressions, anxiety, and loss are all mental health stressors. The pandemic and numbers associated with it are forcing many people to experience all those feelings at once.
His advice is to focus on science, not fear.
“The rules of infection control can beat fear,” he said. “If you follow those rules: wear your mask, keep your distance, wash your hands; do the things you hear us preach about every day, you can stay safe.”
Stites pointed out doctors and nurses protect themselves by following those same pillars while treating COVID-19 patients. So the science can protect you against contracting the virus, which can subdue some of the fear that causes mental health struggles.
Doctors at the university’s cancer center say they’re taking extra steps to make sure patients have support systems in place and don’t feel the isolation of the pandemic on top of their diagnosis.
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