Surge in COVID-19 Cases Affects My Schizoaffective Anxiety
My state of Illinois is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19, and my schizoaffective anxiety is off the charts. After the numbers sliding below 1,000 new cases of the illness a day all through June and in early July, they skyrocketed recently, hitting 7,899 new cases reported on Saturday, October 31, for a single day.1 It could be because of restaurants and bars opening up for indoor service, or schools opening back up, or, most likely, a combination of things, but the surge in numbers is wreaking havoc on my schizoaffective anxiety.
Schizoaffective Anxiety and Being Hypervigilant About Avoiding COVID-19
I’ve been hypervigilant about the novel coronavirus all along. I haven’t left my apartment without a mask at all--not even to check the mail or take out the garbage. And I almost always bring hand sanitizer to use after I touch the dirty garbage or recycling bins. I haven’t been eating at restaurants at all, even at outside tables. We order carry-out. And I don’t go to bars since I don’t drink because of my medication for schizoaffective disorder.
I have noticed that it’s nearly impossible to leave my apartment without having some kind of “bad social distancing” incident. For example, people, thinking they’re being polite, might hold the door for me when I would rather they let me open it myself after they use the door to preserve social distancing. But when this happens, I don’t want to be rude, so I scoot past, and I say “thank you.”
Then I obsess for the rest of the day over why I chose politeness over my own health and safety.
Schizoaffective Anxiety About the Pandemic Has Taken Over My Life
So, as you can imagine, the influx of surging cases of COVID-19 in my state and many others has me freaking out. And it’s not just about the pandemic. The worry has seeped into every aspect of my life.
I must say here that I’ve always been a worrier, ever since I was a little kid. My anxiety predates my schizoaffective disorder. Usually, I know deep down that I really have no reason to worry.
But when it comes to this pandemic, I do have reason to worry. I guess I just have to remember that worrying accomplishes nothing. I have to do the best I can, keep wearing my mask when I go out, social distance, and keep washing my hands. One thing I’m not worried about is getting the COVID-19 vaccine the minute it’s available for widespread use.
As for worrying about other aspects of my life, I again have to remind myself that worrying accomplishes nothing. But often, reminding myself that worrying accomplishes nothing means beating up on myself for worrying. I should accept that I worry, but worrying is so painful that I don’t want to accept it. I’m in a very hard place with my schizoaffective anxiety because of COVID-19, and I don’t know what to do about it.
- Illinois Department of Public Health, "Public Health Officials Announce 7,899 New Confirmed Cases of Coronavirus Disease." Oct. 2020
Caudy, E. (2020, November 12). Surge in COVID-19 Cases Affects My Schizoaffective Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, December 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2020/11/surge-in-covid-19-cases-affects-my-schizoaffective-anxiety