The Acting Director of the Family and Social Division Feona Charles Francis says many people in Antigua and Barbuda are not able to deal with the pandemic mentally. Simply put, Charles-Francis said people are stressed out. She told State TV that the evidence of that change is very obvious.
“I honestly do not think that we are coping very well with stress. I think the varying situations that are occurring within our country is a high indication of that. In addition to that, they are many persons who have so many obligations, paying a mortgage, ensuring that their children are going to good schools and that in itself is a stressor. Being able to meet one’s basic needs is a stressor.”
I do not believe that with our unemployment rates currently and many persons who were just over the poverty line, being on the poverty line and under now are coping with demands or the lifestyle they once were able to afford and now not able to do so. So I do believe a lot of people in our country are not coping well with stress.
Charles-Francis says people have changed in the way they function and may not even know it. This she says is a clear sign of stress.
“I think a lot of persons recognize that they are stressed. What I do not believe that most persons are aware of is how impactful the stress is. In terms of is it shifting certain aspects such as their functioning. Is it a situation where they have lost their appetite, or their sleep is impacted, they are not coping with grief, loss of interest in normal activities?”
“Therefore, It is a wide aspect in terms of looking at what aspects are being affected in your day to day function or even being able to maintain personal hygiene,” the Ag. Director said.