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How Stress Can Make You More Susceptible to Virus

A sign that says don't panic

We’re all no stranger to stressing out, maybe because of work, school, or personal problems. However, in this time of the coronavirus, stress is present everywhere we look. To add to this, the news gives us pressure because no one can see any light beyond this tunnel right now.

The number of those with the COVID-19 illness continues to rise as the weeks of quarantine pass by. Aside from the looming problem of people getting laid off, company pay cuts, people hoarding groceries, other challenges remain to alarm many people. These problems include having no signs of when we can finally go out, live life, and have a sense of normalcy again.

The stress that this pandemic brings is a big problem. This is because more studies and research show that when stress levels rise, you are more susceptible to the virus you’re trying to avoid.

This is why we put together a list of how stress can indeed, make you more susceptible to the virus. Read on to know more.

The Virus Is Getting Stronger

How Stress Can Make You More Susceptible to Virus

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a long string of consequences all over the world. The disease can be deadly as it has already taken the lives of many in a span of a few days to a week.

Scientists and physicians have only recently begun to find out more about the virus. This is because much of the data that can be gathered come from results and thorough investigations.  Nevertheless, with three months of data, it appears that about 80% of infected people have mild to moderate symptoms, about 15% have severe cases, which needs hospitalization. Additionally, about 5% are critical and go into respiratory or organ failure.

We Intake Too Much Bad News

Stress, depression, and sleeplessness are three factors that can severely impact immune systems. Do you find yourself having a difficult time sleeping these past few weeks? Chances are, this may be due to anxiety. Stress can make people more vulnerable to viruses if they are exposed. Fear, isolation, and disturbed sleep often facilitate the development of pro-inflammatory cytokines to overreact to some aspects of the immune system. The increased growth of these cytokines can cause prolonged symptoms of upper respiratory infection.

And although previous studies focused on various cold and upper respiratory viruses, it is clear that COVID-19 will be similar in its results.

We Are All Susceptible

How Stress Can Make You More Susceptible to Virus

Previous studies have shown that healthy people, who are non-immunocompromised, spend less time with others, and are exposed to the cold virus are far more likely than those who go out and socialize to become ill and suffer worse symptoms.

This may be due to the way positive emotions work against stressors and evoke a favourable immune response. Even if more extroverted people, probably those carrying germs that could make them ill, are likely to be around them.

It is a fascinating phenomenon during the global pandemic as people have been strongly urged to stay home in most countries to prevent the epidemic from further spreading.

While other factors such as age and gender have also shown to have an effect on getting the virus, the actual exposure to droplets is the biggest predictor of getting the virus. This is why a thorough contact tracing is done whenever a coronavirus patient tests positive. This is done in order to prevent further spreading among families, peers, and community members.

If You Have a History of Depression, Be More Watchful

When you are chronically depressed, your cells will become immune to cortisol. This puts you at risk of more respiratory problems.

Chronic stress or chronic depression contributes to cellular disability. The second explanation is that there is an overactivation of inflammatory reactions in individuals who experience chronic stress.

During this crisis, who is most stress-sensitive? Many people are feeling the effects of these trying times. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older people, those with poor health, children and youth, health workers working on the front lines, and individuals with mental health problems, including drug users, are affected.

Even if you’re not in one of those classes, it can be daunting for everyone to have this profound moment of anxiety, alienation, lack of social contact, work instability, and possible illness.

This pandemic is incredibly upsetting and has been very traumatic for many people. Unfortunately, nobody knows the length of this pandemic. Increasing numbers of people are angry or anxious, with the stress of job loss, rising debt, and household strains.

Therefore, it is important to take measures to effectively manage your stress. Somehow, if we continue with the goal of flattening the curve, we may be able to see through this.

How Stress Can Make You More Susceptible to Virus

There are many ways to prevent getting the virus so we should remain mindful of our actions, our hygiene, and how we interact with others. Until all of this blows over, best to stay home and do the necessary precautions.


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