The outbreak of Covid-19, its spread, the consequential lockdown, and the stigma surrounding the same has had a devastating impact on the ‘mental health’ of everybody around but especially on those who have tested positive. To boost the morale of those being lodged in COVID Care Centres, the district administration of Ananthapur has come up with a rather unique strategy.
A typical day in a CCC in Ananthapur starts with the Suprbhatam being played on the speaker set up by the authorities. The choice of the song rests with the occupants. Throughout the day, the ‘COVID Positive persons’ are free to use the sports equipment on offer. Badminton, Volleyball, and Carrom equipment have been supplied as of now and the authorities say that they are ready to supply equipment pertaining to any other sport if the occupants place a request.
Each COVID Care Centre is also equipped with a laptop with internet connectivity and a projector. The occupants can use the same to listen to their choice of music or even stream movies or videos available online. Apart from this, professional social counselors visit each of 18 COVID centers twice a day to monitor the mental health condition of the occupants.
In a heartening gesture, the Collector also took to Twitter to announce that the district administration has made it a practice to refer to those under Home Quarantine or are housed in COVID Care Centres as ‘COVID Positive Persons’ and not ‘ COVID Patients’. Though this could make no difference linguistically, multiple studies in the past have revealed that the word ‘patient’ is used while referring to someone who can actually have an impact on the psyche of a patient.
Speaking about the intention behind the same, District Collector Gandham Chandrudu IAS said, ‘ The intention is to boost the morale of the people during these difficult times. We will also try to accommodate special requests. We are ensuring that we do whatever we can to take care of their mental health as this phase has proven to be quite tormenting in a lot of cases’