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Citizens suffering from the 'Corona Blues'; what are symptoms and what to do if you have it? Updated: 2020-03-31 06:07:18 KST

It has been more than two months since the first case of coronavirus in South Korea.

“As social distancing becomes a must and social activities are cancelled, more and more people are experiencing weariness, depression and even anger.”

“Taking care of my children throughout the day and always having to make sure they wash their hands regularly makes both me and my children exhausted.”

“Having to wear masks while working makes it hard to breathe and communicate with each other.”

An expert says what people these days are feeling is called the 'Corona Blues’.
The term was coined from the words 'coronavirus' and having 'the blues', which means feeling depressed.
The symptoms include fear of getting infected with the virus, depression and weariness.
The Korean Psychological Association is providing counseling, and an expert says the number of people asking for counseling has increased five-fold over the past two weeks.
Reasons for the 'Corona Blues' vary from fear of the virus itself to stress coming from people's spouses, children or colleagues.

"Most of the times when psychological symptoms appear amid an infectious disease outbreak like COVID-19, they disappear within a month. But if they continue, they could develop into an anxiety disorder like PTSD so if symptoms do not disappear even after some time passes, one needs to see an expert."

Citizens should also know that having those symptoms is normal.

"It is absolutely normal to feel afraid amid this abnormal situation. Talk to somebody and feel free to ask experts for help."

Those who would like to get a consultation can contact the Korean Psychological Association. And those who are confirmed with COVID-19 and their family members can call National Center for Disaster Trauma. All citizens, including those who are self-quarantining, can also call the Mental Health Welfare Center hotline.
KIM Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.
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