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Stress, Anxiety and Other Risks of COVID-19

Not Feeling Well

Source: Josefa Silman by permission

We sit at home, practicing social isolation and washing our hands every time we touch anything from the outside. We fear getting infected with the COVID-19 virus, and now—with these efforts—the danger is reduced.
Still, we are not exactly safe; not if we end up with other medical issues that can compel us to take a trip to the emergency room.

What if it’s a heart attack?
Should we go to the emergency room and risk getting infected with COVID-19? (Yes, you should. The risk of dying from untreated heart attack is greater than the risk of dying from coronavirus for most people.)
These days, folks might tend to wait more than they should, more than they might have otherwise, hoping their symptoms will go away.

Anxiety and Avoidance:
It may not be a good idea, but people may tend to ignore early signs of disease now. That persistent headache, stomach pain, darkening urine, heart palpitation, blood in the stools can wait until after the pandemic is over. During normal times, people may get alarmed and seek medical advice. But now, the terror of getting infected may override good judgment.

Stress and Major Illness:
Research shows that stress can lead to serious diseases, especially when it is accompanied by a sense of helplessness. Stress was linked to the early onset of type 2 diabetes.
It may even be linked to heart attack, especially if it leads to habits that compromise the heart, such as unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, smoking, and excessive consumption of alcohol. There is a positive link between stress and “broken heart syndrome,” which is a temporary weakening of the heart muscle. Although it is not as fatal as a heart attack, it pr
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