South Africa: A Mental Health Toolbox to Survive the Covid-19 Third Wave

Established in a City of Cape Town-owned community sports centre, the now-closed Khayelitsha Field Hospital functioned as an extension of the adjacent Khayelitsha District Hospital (file photo).

Preparation for a possible third wave, or a continuation of the Covid-19 crisis as we enter year two of the pandemic, needs to entail psychosocial work on ourselves; this requires scrutinising the interplay of our individual thoughts and behaviours in relation to the social factors influencing our lives.

The essence of our survival of the third wave is perfectly encapsulated by Michael Nulty, author of Getting Beyond What Is: "Regardless of the situation we find ourselves in, we can choose how we respond to it. Even if we cannot change the situation itself, we can choose to change how we look at it and how we respond to it. And in our response lies our growth and our freedom."

The knowledge that comes from hindsight

The first tool to put in our toolbox is the ability, instead of merely reacting to it in a knee-jerk fashion, to choose how we are going to respond to this wave.

The advantage we take into the third wave is that we have the lessons of inappropriate reactions to the first two waves. With the knowledge of hindsight, we are much better equipped to choose our response. One of life's fundamental truths is that...

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