Ground Report | New Delhi: What is Covid Cave Syndrome; After more than two years of the coronavirus pandemic, after all these months avoiding social contact and crowded places, trying to keep a distance, despite wearing a mask to avoid infecting us, many people have developed what is known as the ‘cave syndrome’. Those who suffer from it have spent months and months, literally, locked up at home for fear of getting infected, a situation that inevitably leads them to depend on others to survive.
A recent study from the American Psychological Association reported that 49 percent of adults surveyed anticipated feeling uncomfortable about returning to in-person interactions; 48 percent of those who received a COVID vaccine said they felt the same way.
Faced with the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic, how to protect yourself and others? What are the signs of the disease?
What is cave syndrome?
While not an official psychological diagnosis, cave syndrome is typically characterized by feeling anxious about returning to society after the COVID-19 pandemic, even if fully vaccinated. Its causes vary from person to person, with some people hesitating to return to their normal lives due to ongoing fear of the disease and others who have become accustomed to the solitude of the last 15 months, and even like it.
Cave syndrome is the result of factors such as daily routine or habits, risk perception, and the social network of friends, colleagues, and family. For the past year, we have been wearing a mask, sanitizing our hands, and maintaining social distance. There is a disconnect between people’s risk appetite for infection and the chances that they will become isolated and lonely. Simply put, people would rather stay home than risk serious illness or risk death.
A post-pandemic life would mean that people will have to travel to and from work and expend financial and emotional resources to socialize and participate in extracurricular activities. The anxiety associated with deciding what to wear, potential disconnection with friends, and office politics is real for many people and triggers the need to continue to isolate at home.
How to Treat It
- Living in the present: Focus on the present and identify what exactly is bothering you about leaving your house. This will help you develop a proper approach to overcome your fears.
- A change of attitude: A positive attitude is essential to free yourself from stress. Practice positive affirmations about how fun and beautiful it would be to meet your friends and family again.
- Remembering the days before the Covid: Imagine a time before the pandemic hit and how great it was to date, watch a movie, play sports or travel to your favorite destinations. This will help you boost your positive mindset.
- Remember All the Great Things About Your Pre-Pandemic Life
As you start to gain confidence by doing smaller things with people you know and trust, you’ll gain confidence and be able to move on to new challenges with situations that are not so comfortable by nature.”
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