COVID-19 cases are rising in India even after eight months into the outbreak. Over 80,000 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours taking the total COVID-19 caseload in the country to 56,50,540. The figures include 90,077 fatalities.
While the country is ramping up testing facilities, the health care workers have been reeling with anxiety, fear and helplessness taking a toll on their mental as well as physical health.
Over time, witnessing a consistent rise in the number of deaths due to COVID, uncertainty regarding the pandemic and the constant fight to be on their toes on their safety while treating the patients have reportedly been some of the factors impacting their mental well being.
Reports have also suggested that the doctors have complained of disturbed sleep pattern, depression and resorting to substances to relieve them of the stress.
"A consistent rise in death of patients affected with COVID-19 has been extremely disturbing and frustrating to the extent that I have had to go on anti-depressants as my last solution," a Panchkula-based anaesthetist told The Indian Express.
"Even though we are prepared to see deaths in our lives, we at least found peace in the fact that we did everything we could. It is not the same with COVID-19 patients who are well one day and are no more the next. No matter what I do, someone dies every day," he said.
The doctors and the health care workers, in most cases, stay at the hospital in an attempt to prevent the transmission of the virus to their families. This loneliness for an extended period of time has been taking a toll on their emotional health.
"The first symptoms you may easily spot are irritability factors. We can gauge that everyone is at their edge. Arguments inside the hospital have risen. Depression and sleep disturbances are also increasing. Working and staying not just alert but awake throughout the night is a task. Several doctors are resorting to substance dependence to keep themselves functional," said Dr MP Sharma, Head of Psychiatry department of Panchkula.
Working in PPEs ( Personal Protective Kits) amid rising temperatures and with chronic health conditions of their own which might include migraines and asthma has further added to their struggle.
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