Creston COVID-19 Survivor Warns the Virus Takes a Mental Toll
A COVID-19 survivor in Creston said not enough attention is being paid to the mental health effects of the virus.
As a healthy 54 year old woman, Beth Swalwell said she was able to fight off the sore throat, splitting head and body aches, cough and fatigue, but struggled with thoughts during her physical recovery.
The owner of The Art Barn envisioned people fighting for their lives in hospital on ventilators and struggled with concern for others.
“Who did I give it (COVID-19) to?” questioned Beth.
“I work with kids who have health problems, I work with kids whose parents have health problems, did I pass it on to them,” wondered Swalwell who explained those mental battles with the virus she was having to a local doctor.
The answer, and a level of understanding came in the form of an article the doctor gave Beth about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder induced by the novel coronavirus.
“Then I really started to research it and understand more about the mental health related (problems) to COVID, getting COVID and what a can or worms it is,” said Beth.
Part of her probe was an Oxford University article that concluded 30% of the 230,000 people who researchers studied reported post-traumatic mental health issues because of having battled the virus.
Swalwell believes mental health stress related to COVID-19 extends beyond virus victims, event to those who flaunt the public health rules, including protesters.
“A lot of people are not making choices in the best interests of public health because they’re traumatized, they’re living in denial and it is all P-T-S-D,” she said.
Beth said she has compassion and empathy for everyone having difficulty coping mentally with COVID-19 regardless of the reason and feels all levels of government should put COVID-19 resources toward dealing with the virus’ devastating mental health aftermath.
She feels sufferers need help more than ever before.
“Those people are suffering silently, they have no voice, no one is taking about them , no one is talking to them,” said Swalwell who implored anyone who needs help to call the mental health line at 310-6789.