Emotional Impact of COVID-19 Testing

Being sick is never fun, and it is even more stressful than ever with the confusion and rate of increase of COVID-19.  It is even harder when a loved one calls to tell you that they are symptomatic and they need to be tested.  Not only do you have to deal with your own emotions and feelings but you have to take into consideration the feelings and concerns of the person close to you who is being tested. 

Facing your feelings

Your compassion can make a difference for a loved one with this looming ordeal.  Your feelings are just as real and important.  You have genuine fears.  It’s hard to hear about the process of testing and having to hear about how hard it is being confined in a room, away from your daily life, spouse and small children.  The emotions you feel when they tell you that they can hear their kids, your grandkids, right outside of their door, crying and asking for “Mommy.”  Hearing about how they had to spend hours on the phone, and even days, trying to figure out the testing process.  Once they finally have a testing facility secured, to hear how they felt actually going through the actual test. 

A loved one of mine, who has a front-line, essential job, shared with me, “I felt like I had done something wrong like I had the plague.” The emotions ran thick as you hear about the testing process and try to empathize and be supportive from afar. You can’t help but visualize the process as they begin to explain how they had to sit in their car for hours to wait for their turn for the test. They were given a mask to put on, were instructed to write their name on a piece of paper and then hold it up to the window, crack the window just enough so that someone comes to your car looking at you like you were in a scene from “E.T..” You try to imagine their discomfort when they describe the long swab going in through their nose to their throat and how then how it felt like they were still being muzzled by it afterwards when they were told that they were not allowed to ask any questions. The only vague information that was shared at the end of the process was that they would learn of the results of their test within 5-7 days and in the interim, they need to isolate themselves.

The silence is deafening

It’s hard to try to comprehend the thoughts that were going through their heads as they drove back home have to go back into a room alone for another 5-7 days to watch their phone like a hawk, waiting for a call. What can you do for the next 5-7 days while you wait for the news yourself? Your family is outside of the door of your room and you have to distance yourself from your spouse and your young children, who are too young to understand.  You are feeling anxious and worried.  You want to be supportive but you’re not entirely sure how to do that, especially if you are miles and miles away.  You worry about saying the wrong things.  The emotion of having a lack of control is tough and not being able to be physically there.  

How to support your loved one

What I was able to do was, just say something, start a conversation about anything.  Be genuine; it’s ok to let them know you are feeling a lot of the same feelings they are.  Let them be in control of the conversation.  They can decide whether they want to talk about things.  All I could basically do, being hundreds of miles away was say “if you want to vent, I’m all ears.” Let them know that they can let their frustrations out.  Make it a no-judgment zone.   In addition to their mental status, you have to worry about how sick they are feeling.  The usual “feel better” doesn’t sound like the right thing to say.

This pandemic has been a test for all of us in some regards whether emotional, physical, spiritual and/or mentally and the one thing we can do is be there to support each other and listen to each other to help us all pass.

Written by Amy Bravo

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This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.


This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.

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