Tips to minimize anxiety during COVID-19 epidemic

Siasat News and Faiz-e-Aam Trust have together started a series on their YouTube channel in view of the current situation of pandemic.

Dr. Mohammed Maqdoom, addressing on this channel says, everybody is passing through mental depression and anxiety, the situation is sorrowful and gloomy everywhere, nobody is able to understand what they can do in such conditions. On one hand, our source of income has been affected and on the other hand, we are stricken by such a disease whose treatment has become a matter of concern.

Dr. Maqdoom says, if we take the patient to a corporate hospital, we have to spend lakhs of rupees. If we admit him to any ordinary or general hospital, we are not satisfied. He further says, through this programme Siasat News and Faiz-e-Aam trust, he is trying to solve this problem of confusion, anxiety and depression. He hopes this programme will be liked by the viewers.

According to Dr. Maqdoom, our anxiety increases when we do not know the solution of our problems. If we do not understand our problems, then our curiosity goes to the level of anxiety and to the level of depression. He says, this is what is happening now in the current situation.

Dr. Maqdoom states that the purpose of today’s programme is to educate and console those families who are affected by Covid-19 if it has become inevitable to admit the patient in a hospital. Such families may become anxious and lots of questions may arise in their minds, they may be in a dilemma to decide what steps they have to take. He is sure that through this programme, their anxiety will be reduced to a great extent and they may get a sigh of relief.

When a patient is admitted to a hospital, the family’s mind is bombarded with lots of questions. They will not get satisfying answers to their questions from any doctor or hospital. He says, being a doctor he knows very well under what circumstances the patient and his family pass through. Was it necessary to admit the patient to the hospital? Will the patient recover? Such questions arise which is very difficult for the doctors to answer. However, doctors try their best to give satisfactory replies, sometimes doctors may not give suitable replies due to shortage of time or they are preoccupied with other work.

Dr. Maqdoom says, after watching this video, you will get sufficient knowledge so that if you question a doctor or medical staff about the patient or the disease, you will be in a position to ask relevant questions. Moreover, you can assess the patient’s health yourself, whether his health is improving or deteriorating, which will lessen your depression and anxiety. Otherwise, those people who are with the patient will get frustrated.

Dr. Maqdoom requests to have your concentration in watching the video or reading this text. He says, every question of the patient or his attendant is important and it carries weight. The attendants may ask the chances of patient’s improvement and when the patient will come out of the morbid condition. They also ask about the expenses for the treatment. Because, the resources of income have become very limited. Since last two months, people are living a life of hand to mouth. We have entered into the third month of lockdown and the business is still sluggish.

Now, let us know the details of Covid-19 and how we can keep ourselves calm and quiet. First, if somebody is affected by this disease, please do not panic and take tension. If you panic, you will spoil everything. Approach the problem calmly and leave the treatment to the doctor. The attendants must have trust in the doctor and communication between them must be clear and understandable; advises Dr. Maqdoom.

He says, usually the doctors come across three types of patients; seriously ill, critical or not critical at all.

He discusses about the patients who are not critical at all, they can be treated at home. (Doctor requests to watch his previous video at:) He advises that admitting all Covid-19 patients to a hospital is not necessary at all. The most important thing is you should not get anxious at any cost. Fight this disease calmly and quietly and overcome it like a brave soldier. Those people who are under the age of 65 years come under a safe invulnerable group.

Secondly, there is no need to worry about the people who are over 65 if they do not have any disease — they are also safe. But, if a person is affected by Covid-19 and already has a comorbid condition, he comes under vulnerable group. Comorbid is a condition where a patient is already having a disease. Usually, it has been observed that a person over the age of 65 years contracts some or other disease. It is not a problem if he is having a minor disease. In case he is suffering from a major disease due to which his immune system has become weak, then he is in vulnerable group.

People who have a good defence mechanism are less prone towards diseases than those who have a comorbid condition; that means, those who are suffering from diabetes, heart problems, people who are under medication for paralysis, cancer, kidney ailments, etc. these persons come under vulnerable group. So, if you are concerned about comorbid patients, then it is justifiable. But, you should not panic about those people who take good care of their health by exercising, taking good diet and living a healthy normal life.

Therefore, today we have known that we have to be little concerned about those who are above 65 and come under comorbid group. Also, if someone has undergone X-ray or CT scan and it is known that their lungs are affected to a minor level, then there is no need to fear, they will be recuperated very soon. If a person’s both the lungs are affected significantly, then there is a reason to panic. But, one should continue the treatment and must not have negative opinion. There is no doubt that the patient may defeat the disease, because the treatment and medicines during these days are very effective.

The doctors reach to a conclusion only after a blood test. Usually, in our blood, some parameters keep fluctuating. For example: Oxygen level is above 90%, (normal) LDH is below 250 (normal), liver function, eFGR which shows kidney function, CRP and platelets. If all these parameters are normal, then there is no need to worry about it. If there is abnormality, then we have to be concerned.

Dr. Maqdoom says, we have now the knowledge that a layman requires; what is favourable for the patient and what is not. This knowledge will change the way of your thinking. So, this is how you can ask the doctor or health care provider that what investigations have been done and what is the result? Whether it is normal or abnormal? Thus you can understand the condition of the patient whether he is in danger or out of danger.

He further adds, that sometimes D-Dimer test has to be done to know whether there is a blood clot. If it is found, then the patient is given blood thinners. Usually, the patients who have been bed ridden for long time suffer from blood clotting.

Dr. Maqdoon further adds that one must understand and have knowledge of these things which is very easy. Once you understand the above parameters, your anxiety will be reduced to a great extent and you should share this knowledge with others to educate them and to reduce their anxieties by providing useful knowledge. He says that you might have understood whether the patient at risk or not.

Dr. Maqdoom asserts that, currently we have the best treatment for Covid-19 because we are working on the regime that we have received during the last six months. Now, the doctors have understood very well, what medicines give a favorable response. Earlier, the guidelines that we have received from WHO (World Health Organisation) were not sufficient at all. In fact, most of the deaths that have taken place were due to WHO’s wrong interpretation. WHO has obstructed us from doing many things. However, doctors have enriched their knowledge to such a great extent, that there is no question of a patient not getting well. Doctors are now using a multipronged approach to fight this disease. They have learnt how to maintain the oxygen level; what antibiotics should be given to a patient if it is a viral disease and why antibiotics must be given to a patient. Bacteria are found in our nose, throat, windpipe and other parts of the body. When our immune system weakens, they attack us. This is known as secondary infection. Therefore, in this viral disease our defence system becomes weak, so the doctors immediately start giving antibiotics. Mostly, Azithromycin is prescribed along with other medicines. Sometimes, Clarithromycin is also given. One medicine which is called HCQS is controversial that is why it is not being prescribed. Because, according to one study, this medicine has a tendency to increase the cellular zinc level in the body. In initial stages, doctors were favouring it, but it has its own side effects — especially cardiac side effects. The next drug is steroids. In the beginning it was asked by WHO not to prescribe it, but now this drug has become the cornerstone for the treatment. Steroids are important because they treat the inner inflammations of the body. All the medicines which are being given to Covid-19 patients contain steroids. The other medicine which is given to open the congested airways is Devolin, it is given through nebulization for the treatment of breathing problems. The flow of the oxygen inside the body improves with this drug.

The third question that people ask is why not X-Ray is sufficient? Why do doctors ask for CT scan? Dr. explains that general X-ray does not have the capacity to detect the damage that is done during the initial stages. This is the reason why doctors ask for CT scan of the chest to know exactly how much the lungs have been damaged. The spots on the lungs, which are opaque are clearly visible in the CT scan. This helps in assessing the severity of the disease so that we can inform the patient and his attendants—whether the patient is in a serious condition. As the parameters in the blood help in assessing the disease, the CT scan is also helpful in the same way. By CT scan, we would be in a position to tell whether the patient is in danger or out of danger. During the treatment, Blood tests and CT scan are repeated to see the improvement in the patient. Therefore, the attendants should not object to the repetition of these tests as it is for the betterment of the patient and to give an idea to the doctors, how effective their treatment is. If the treatment is ineffective, then by repetition of tests it can be known that how much the lungs, kidneys, heart and brain have been damaged.

The tests reports are guidelines for the doctors to make changes in the treatment accordingly.

So, these are a few important things from Dr. Mohammed Maqdoom to educate everyone about the Covid-19 patients to help us assess the condition of the patient, what medicines are given, and what actually happens in this disease.

Dr. Maqdoom is a general physician and diabetologist. He is a director at Bibi Amena Milli Hospital, Chandrayan gutta. He can be reached on 9346670535.

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