DAEGU, March 31 (Korea Bizwire) — Citizens of Daegu, the nation’s epicenter of the viral disease, are struggling psychologically as the coronavirus outbreak continues to take a toll on the city.
Among those infected with the coronavirus, some experience severe anxiety and depression and are prescribed with sleeping pills.
“Irregular workers and small business owners suffer from anxieties of having to return to work,” an employee at Daegu Regional Mental Health Welfare Center said.
“Even if they are suffering from a curable disease, many patients resort to negative thoughts as they are psychologically unstable. Some lose patience when a fellow patient is discharged from the hospital.”
In such cases, counselors listen to the patients, consoling them by making them understand that it is normal to feel anxious and depressed, and that anybody can feel the same way.
Infected patients also suffer from negative stereotypes and unfounded perceptions linking them to a particular religious cult.
Some patients choose to be taken to the hospital at night to avoid public exposure, while some ask medical clinics to send ambulances without turning on the sirens.
A considerable number among people placed under self-quarantine are also exposed to anxiety and concerns about their livelihood.
The city and medical authorities are offering a 24-hour counseling service for people suffering psychologically due to the coronavirus.
A team of 128 counselors, including those from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety and the Army, carried out a total of 31,000 counseling sessions between February 1 and March 26.
The counselors are tasked with calling patients and those under self-quarantine first, asking if they need psychological assistance.
“COVID-19 is a disease that anyone can get infected with,” a staff member at the counseling center said. “Please avoid all stereotypes made against the coronavirus patients and those under self-quarantine.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)