A long time ago, there was a disease that was so feared and dreaded that people who had it or we're around people who carried it were shunned. That disease was the bubonic plague, better known as the 'black death.' Well, today the world is in the middle of another global pandemic. While it's not nearly as devastating or deadly as the bubonic plague is, it is still impacting the world in profound ways. No one wants to get the virus - COVID-19, and many people who test positive for it feel guilty afterward. This article explains why.
Why the guilt?
Well, much of the guilt may actually be anxiety. Many people who have COVID-19 may be asymptomatic. They may have been unaware that they were carriers of it until they got tested. They are therefore afraid of giving this serious virus to others. Many others would rather not get it (well, really no one would!) They have a tendency to blame themselves for not taking extra precautions like quarantining, social distancing, washing hands frequently, etc...They feel that if they had practiced these measures more intensively, they would not have gotten the virus. The harsh reality is that everyone is vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 and it's impossible to predict who will get it!
The virus is much more deadly than the flu
Only a handful of people who get the flu die from it every year. While less than 1% of people who get COVID-19 will die from it, it is much more deadly than the flu. Many more people have died (and will die) from COVID-19. The problem is that it’s impossible to predict who will recover from the virus and who won't make it. For example, many health workers are frontline workers. They are at the greatest risk of getting COVID-19 because of the nature of their work. Many health workers have felt guilty for not quarantining themselves to virtually guarantee that they wouldn't get COVID-19. They would then have no opportunity to pass it on to others who they care about and love!
It's human nature to want to bottle up feelings when faced with a crisis. This world is currently in a global crisis with many people still contracting COVID-19. While the number of new cases is on the decline, people are still getting it. People who test positive may be afraid for the health and safety of themselves and of others who they are close to. They have found that talking about their feelings with mental health professionals helps to relieve their anxiety and stress. They feel less guilty and are more likely to have a speedy recovery.
The guilt is unfounded
Fear of the unknown is a large factor in terms of causing the guilt that people who test positive for COVID-19 feel. However, that guilt is unfounded!