Mental health in times of Covid-19

Maria Perez. 22 years old. Spanish, living in Denmark for an academic exchange since February of 2020. Isolated in a 30-square meter room for two months. Classes from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., even on weekends. No family around. No interaction with the locals. Insomnia. Loss of appetite. Three panic attacks in the last week. She needed an end and she found it. She left one of the most secure countries in Europe for the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic. Her choice, considered crazy by many, turned out to be a bold, but calculated, decision to protect her mental health.

Mostly False: “Gargles with warm water, salt or vinegar eliminate corona virus”

A supposed coronavirus prevention formula was circulating in the internet in previous weeks. According to the text, shared on the WhatsApp platform by Brazilian users, gargling with water, salt and vinegar is sufficient to eliminate the virus from the person’s throat, where it “stays for four days before going to her lung” (data given by the same text message). This mixture, supposedly, will prevent the virus from reaching the lungs and prevent critical medical problems caused by this infection.

Enter the chat

“Relax! This is just a Flu. Plus, it only affects old people. We are fine,” my flatmate harshly said to me. In the first week of the corona outbreak in Denmark, she spent days going in and out of our dorm to parties. She would come home after two or three days, cook whatever she found in our kitchen, watch TV in the common room and go out again. With the news showing how dangerous this could be, I decided to ask her to be more careful. I explained to her that she needs to be responsible, since she lives in student housing and shares some spaces with ten other people. She did not care. There was no reason for her to stop enjoying the “break” she miraculously got, she told me, and who was I to say otherwise?