The vicious circle of covidic anxiety – Normalitas

We find ourselves oversaturated with a vicious loop of angst, like ducklings lost in a night time match.

At the health center near their home in Barcelona, ​​they are waiting for the vaccine. This week has not arrived. The vaccination campaign has stopped.

Lola, the nurse, tells me, while giving me an injection – not anti-Covid – calming my breath with anxious sweet palabritas. Guys, you haven’t seen the size of the needle. Zoladex on the fat stomach is a big blow.

“Forget it, Susana… it’s all out. Free everything ”. The floor is empty, it is 11 am on a cloudy Friday. Yes, Lola, yes. Good advice. Usually, I don’t care about the monster needle. But today I am stressed. Aren’t we all?


On returning home, I pass a small place in the neighborhood. I count two mothers with babies in their arms and two other family nuclei enjoying the rocker.

I sit on the bench, I look for the horizon between the sea of ​​buildings and the power lines crisscrossing the sky.

I remember a recent interview with Stanford University neuroscientist Andrew Huberman who specializes in vision and its various systemic effects.

According to him, the human being has two types of vision: the portrait / focal mode, in which one is attentive to details, generally in the foreground, and the “panoramic” mode – to contemplate the horizon. Watch the sunrise. Look at the sea.

You guessed it: the problem is we’re too stuck in the first mode. Even more so with the pandemic.

The eyes, very connected to the nervous system, transmit different messages to the brain depending on the mode of vision. You’re right: portrait-feed-of-instagram-for-3-hour mode communicates an increasing state of restlessness to the brain and body, unlike panning or “optical flow” mode, which relaxes and magnifies peripheral vision.

The Barcelona metro poster reveals an initiative of the Catalan government in favor of the “mental health” of citizens, under the slogan: “I’m not doing well either; and how are you? “(Susana Bragatto / Folhapress)

Faced with a disturbing entry, like, now, the disturbing news and the absurd luck of our day, the breathing is agitated, the heart rate changes and the eyes go into lynx mode: full concentration. There follows a bath of neurotransmitters that prepare you for a-tu-ar.

Stress was therefore originally an evolutionary mechanism to awaken Homo Sabidus to action. The fight against the tiger. Etc. The pandemic, by restricting our movements, would shift collective stress to an almost pathological Olympic rehearsal of the border. We are oversaturated with a vicious loop of angst, like ducklings lost in a night game.

From my stool in the space-time of this urban square, I make an effort and find an unpolluted corner of paradise. It lasts two seconds and I am already responding to a zapzap message. Do not judge me.

The pandemic remains complicated in several European countries. What it is today, not tomorrow. To be honest, sometimes I get lost in the accounts: I don’t know what wave we are on.

In Spain, some regions are recovering from critical situations. Others, like Catalonia, are advancing their reopening project with caution, watching for the (slow) stabilization of the post-Christmas festivities.

In Barcelona, ​​the situation in intensive care still requires special attention. The problem, as the director of the hospital of Vall d’Hebron, one of the main ones in the city, said the other day, is that, if a fourth wave arrives, the health system, unlike the other three big ones, previous waves, will not. be able to withstand the stride.

As a result, not only people affected by the virus suffer, but also those who suffer from other illnesses. I accompany cancer in remission. I can manage between consultations in the public and private system because I am so lucky.

But the data is worrying. We already know that the pandemic has created contexts of underdiagnosis, either because of the lack of hospital and clinical infrastructure, or because of the fear of the population.

In terms of public health, the problem is therefore not only the coronavirus. It’s, well, public health. I start to stress again.


-Lola, and after all: whoever caught the virus can catch it again or is already vaccinated? I ask, serelepe, getting up from the stretcher. I ask this delicate question to “todo dios”.

The curly-haired Catalan stares at me from behind her desk between jars of gel alcohol. The window behind him vaporizes auras of light in his silhouette. Santíssima Lola, with her romantic red-rimmed glasses. I feel a surge of gratitude wash over me. I suffer from the syndrome of idolatry towards health professionals – another covidian effect (blessed).

–Today… more or less –I finally understood it. – Change all the time. Until another day, the direction was to give the vaccine to those who had been to Covid more than 6 months ago. Now to those who passed away 3 months ago. Just a hit. Tomorrow…

I remembered a recent conversation with a doctor friend, who told me he had suffered intense effects from the first dose of his vaccine – he had Covid months ago. Lola and I exchanged votes so that the Benedictine vaccination soon frees us to drink this coffee. And we said goodbye with a friendly elbow.

Until the next injection.

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