We are all affected by the spread of COVID-19 worldwide. In one way or another, our lives are upended by this “unseen enemy” as we are not allowed to go out, businesses are closing down, and school-age children are now being homeschooled. Hugs have also become a no-no at this time and masks and face shields have been a vital part of our wardrobe whenever we go out.
Suffice to say, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an overwhelming experience for everyone. What more if our friends or family members tested positive for it? This may trigger a lot of anxiety and add up to the loneliness as their sense of safety, comfort, and security might be shattered.
Before anything else, please remember that it’s okay to feel a different range of emotions when you learn that someone you love is COVID-19 positive. You may feel relief for knowing what is the cause of their symptoms, you might fear and worry for the worst, or guilt for wondering if you have been exposed. These feelings are perfectly normal and it’s fine to sit with your emotions for a while. (Read: 3 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health While in Quarantine)
But the question still remains, how can one support a loved one who has tested positive for COVID-19? You might feel like there is no perfect thing to say, but perhaps these three tips can help!
Show compassion and kindness.
When a friend has an illness, what they really need from us is empathetic awareness. This helps them feel that they are not alone in their distress. Showing compassion is also showing genuine concern for others. While we cannot be physically there for a loved one who has tested positive for COVID-19, we can show them our support through various acts of kindness such as sending an email, talking over the phone or video chat, or sending over food or groceries. (Read: Panalangin Laban sa Panganib na Dulot ng COVID-19)
Listen actively and communicate.
During these times, communication binds everyone together. It lifts our spirit amid isolation. Now, more than ever, we must create a connection to build bonds and show our support to our loved ones. (Read: 5 Ways to Strengthen Relationships While Social Distancing)
Constantly check-in with friends and family members through message, call, or video chat. When someone reveals that they are COVID-19 positive, focus on listening first. Ask them if they wish for you to call again to stay in touch. And remember to choose your words mindfully and carefully. After all, this is about your friend or family member, not about you. Don’t rush the conversation, don’t minimize their experience, and don’t preach. Remain calm, civil, and attentive throughout the conversation.
Educate yourself about COVID-19.
Keep yourself updated on what healthcare and public health experts are saying about COVID-19. Information and advice may change quickly, so remember to read news and information from trusted sources. Verify information first before sharing it on social media. In doing this, you are also keeping yourself, your family, and others safe and healthy. (Read: Fake news endangers lives more than COVID-19, and each of us can fix it)