How Covid-19 Has Changed Our Country’s Approach To Health

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South Africans have come a long way since news of the coronavirus hit the headlines early last year, and our country went into lockdown. Affinity Health takes a look at how Covid-19 has changed our country’s approach to health. 

Mental & Physical Health Challenges

Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 has triggered a wave of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, trauma, loneliness, and general stress. Many felt the pandemic’s mental effects more so during the festive season, with families not being able to be together because of social distancing measures introduced to flatten the curve and contain the spread of the virus.

Working South Africans are also impacted by feelings of uncertainty or insecurity over job losses due to retrenchments and an increased unemployment rate.

“Often, mental health challenges can present on a physical level, and the number of South Africans experiencing frequent headaches, nausea, heartburn, eating problems, heart palpitations, sleep problems, and muscle pains and aches have increased since the start of Covid-19,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

Hewlett says that while much of what we do has slowed down, the need for health care has not. Affinity Health encourages all South Africans to ensure that they still undergo preventive health care visits and get medical assistance when needed. This is especially true for those with already existing chronic conditions and children who need to continue their routine immunisations.

Staying healthy during the pandemic

The good news is that Covid-19 has seen many South Africans focus more on healthy living, better lifestyle habits, and fostering closer relationships with their families and loved ones.

Since the pandemic started, families are reportedly spending more time outdoors or experiencing nature together. Practicing good hygienic is also no longer just a good habit, but the very skill you need for survival. Hand washing has gone a long way in stopping the spread of Covid-19 and several other infectious diseases.

Some have said that while quarantine and social distancing are challenging, they now value their relationships more.

“It’s easy to lose your hopes and brood over the negative side effects of Covid-19, but for every low, there is a high. While times have certainly changed, South Africans have always been able to rise above challenges. We’re a race of survivors, and we’re proving to be far stronger than we thought,” concludes Hewlett. 

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