Russian Psychotherapist Says Exit From Self-Isolation to be Gradual and Long

Russian Psychotherapist Says Exit From Self-Isolation to be Gradual and Long

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At the same time, Dr. Kurpatov believes that all the difficulties should mobilize us, and people should not relax by any means when something goes wrong. When a person mobilizes, he or she spends the mental energy that breaks down the habitual dynamic stereotypes and is then channeled into creative activities.

For the majority of people unexpected life changes have become a very tough experience in terms of their psychological status. The Russians are getting tired of the restrictive measures introduced by the government to combat the novel coronavirus infection, and this unusual mode of life brings up various problems.

Along with it, recent reports suggest that a gradual lifting of restrictive measures might begin already in May. However, many experts agree that we will see a completely different world that we will have to get used to.

How to adjust to the transformed reality? What will help people ease the endless stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic and reconcile to the need to live differently? What help can an ordinary person get in the process of reemerging from the lockdown?

Andrey Kurpatov, a well-known Russian psychotherapist, said in one of the interviews how the process of lifting the quarantine in Russia will work. He gave several recommendations on how to cope with the new reality as easily as possible. In Kurpatov’s opinion, the process of lifting the quarantine will be gradual and long. Tentatively speaking, at first, the residents will be allowed to walk in groups of twos. According to Kurpatov, it will be a significant step forward, because at present people should keep a distance of two meters from one other. The first establishments, such as hair salons and cafes, will be reopened.

When asked if he himself would go to a cafe and a salon, Kurpatov answered in the affirmative.

“I am a doctor,” said Kurpatov. “I am not panicking and not afraid to catch the virus. I am going to wear a face mask and gloves and to use a hand sanitizer containing alcohol. Basic measures that were recommended as the essential ones are of great help. Meanwhile, I understand very clearly that when going to a restaurant you might die not only from the coronavirus infection -- a brawl, a gunplay or a poisoning might happen, too.”

At the same time, he mentioned the presence of plenty of various diseases apart from COVID-19. For example, statistically an ordinary influenza might also lead to the complications in one case per million. Dr. Kurpatov recalled that, as a complication caused by influenza, himself he himself lived through peripheral paralysis, which often can be fatal. By the way, among 3 mln cases of the coronavirus infection, there have been two complications in the form of Guillain-Barre syndrome. Unfortunately, every time we see statistics telling us about fatalities, even if there are just a few cases of a disease.

“In general, I am comfortable with isolation. But there are a lot of people with whom I get in touch, and the problem is that all of them started contacting me at once. At present, Zoom is ringing nonstop, and it’s something unimaginable. My stress is building up because of excessive workload. Due to the self-isolation regime I have much more work to do. Many people have started working on their own projects. I manage a lot of different projects, too. I want to go on vacation,” Dr. Kurpatov said jokingly.

At the same time, he believes that all the difficulties should mobilize us, and people should not relax by any means when something goes wrong. This has a neurophysiologic underpinning -- when a person mobilizes, he or she spends the mental energy that breaks down the dynamic stereotypes and is channeled into creative activities.

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