Psychological impact of coronavirus on Kenyans

Written By: Edward Kabasa

Kenyans are starting to experience the psychosocial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Psychologist Jane Ngatia says measures such as social distancing which are new concepts are taking a toll on many Kenyans and there is need to sensitize the public on how to manage the pressures that come with the new reality.

Though some Kenyans are already taking the measures in stride, others say it will take the time to adjust to the prevailing situation.

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The directive on, public gathering, social distancing and staying at home means Kenyans must change their lifestyle from how they eat, work to socializing.

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Those with lower incomes and those whose jobs or income have been cut by the outbreak are more likely than other groups to fall into the high distress category.

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Ngatia says Kenyans must learn to quickly adapt to the new way of life though some professional help may be needed to help the citizenry deal with the psychosocial impact of the pandemic.

She says this is perhaps the best time for Kenyans to connect more with family and do some soul searching as part of dealing with the psychosocial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Those diagnosed with an anxiety disorder are at risk of falling into depression. They need professional help” she says.

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And as Covid-19 cases increase in Kenya, there is a growing feeling that a total lockdown may be the best remedy to curb the spread.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has warned Kenyans to brace for tough times ahead but has remained tight-lipped on the possibility of an emergency protocol that completely bans movement.


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