Self-isolation and social distancing have been widely recommended by health experts as the most effective ways of curtailing the spread of the coronavirus.

Since recording its first case two weeks ago, Ghana has adopted some austere measures to help prevent the quick-spread of the virus.

Key among such measures are social distancing and self-isolation which has led to a ban on all forms of social gatherings and a closure of schools.

But as people self-isolate, quarantine themselves and stay at home, they stand a huge risk of falling into depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders.

A study by American medical journal The Lancet notes that ‘the psychological impact of quarantine can be great, resulting in a range of mental health concerns from anxiety and anger to sleep disturbances, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder’.

Realizing the possible psychological effects of the social distancing and staying at home protocols on people, sought the expertise of a renowned psychologist to educate people on how to cope with the new normal.

Dr Kingsley Nyarko is an Executive Secretary of the National Accreditation Board and a former lecturer of the University of Ghana Psychology Department.

He provided crucial and valuable pieces of advice on how Ghanaians can deal with the situation.

“There is no need for people to be anxious because you have no control over the virus but what you can control so that you don’t infected with the virus is very important. You can engage in good hygiene, wash your hands properly and all the behavioral and attitudinal changes you have to embark upon, you have to do it. We must also exercise, eat healthy, connect with love ones and sleepy well because the more you do these things, then your immune system is going to be stronger”.

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