CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – With the number of Coronavirus cases rising by the day in the Tri-state, fear and anxiety brought on by the virus are rising as well.
Many people are now working from home, have been temporarily laid off, and local businesses are suffering. The stress brought on by COVID-19 may be starting to affect people mentally, rather than just physically.
13 News Reporter Haley Kosik sat down with a local licensed counselor to talk about what the average American may be feeling, experiencing or going through during this difficult time.
KCPP Counseling Executive Director, Dr. Sky Kershner said, “It’s a cultural shift for us, my experience is that West Virginians tend to be very friendly if they’re out and about and happy to talk, happy to acknowledge other people and it does feel strange to be standing at a distance or walking at a distance from someone whether it’s a stranger or someone you know.”
West Virginia Governor, Jim Justice’s stay-at-home order took effect Tuesday night, March 24th, and for some, the harsh realities of self-isolation might be setting in.
“Some people, it’s very easy for them to take advantage of this time and they got good energy to try and explore new things and for other folks and especially because of the uncertainty, if you’re feeling anxious or depressed, it’s hard to find the energy to make creative use of this time,” said Kershner.
Kershner says there is no how-to guide or list to follow in keeping level-headed through this pandemic. He believes it’s up to each individual to overcome the feeling of uncertainty and find resiliency.
“Uncertainty is really hard and if you’ve lost your job or have been furloughed… the economic uncertainty… it’s shocking, it’s surreal.”Dr. Sky Kershner, KPCC Counseling
But he says there is beauty in this mystery. It is bringing people closer together, that can’t be measured by distance.
With this current crisis, many insurance companies are now covering 100% of the costs for counseling services, and counseling services, therapists and psychologists have moved to virtual sessions in order to practice social-distancing.