When people are isolating from COVID, they need more than just clinical care. The impacts of isolation can affect people’s social and mental health, and not everyone has the same means to isolate safely at home. They may be living in insecure housing, facing financial difficulties or have no social support from friends and family. The cohealth COVID+ Pathways program provides psychosocial support for people isolating at home to ensure all their needs are met.
Qas lives in a sharehouse with 3 others. When he tested positive for COVID, he hung plastic sheets outside his door to create an airlock to protect his housemates.
But he was unable to use the bathroom or kitchen. So for two days he used a bucket for a toilet and didn’t shower.
cohealth connected with him and helped to arrange for him to move into hotel quarantine to complete his recovery.
The cohealth COVID+ Pathways team called him every day to check on his wellbeing. Qas suffers from depression, and he found the isolation hit him particularly hard.
“While you’re in quarantine, you’re locked up. You can’t even go out for a walk. Mentally, it’s very easy to get in a downward spiral. Having cohealth ring every day really helped. It was someone I could talk to who knew what was going on and could answer my questions. Even if they didn’t have the answers, they’d go away and find out for me.”
One day Qas didn’t answer the phone, and cohealth sent a staff member around to his home to check on him. They also offered to arrange food that he might need, and connected him with
“After a tough year of lockdowns, our resilience is already low. So for people like me who get put into isolation, you really feel the impacts. The support cohealth gave me really helped with my depression and anxiety during isolation. The daily phone calls and offering to deliver things might have seemed like small things, but they made a big difference,” said Qas.
Qas finished his quarantine period a couple of days ago, but still has a persistent cough so is waiting to go back to work. He has a customer-facing role and wants to make sure the people he’s working with feel comfortable having him back.
“I’m desperate to get back to work and a normal routine. But there is a real stigma that comes with COVID. Once you’ve had it, if you cough people look at you strange. Even though the GPs have assured me I’m not contagious anymore, it’s hard to explain that to people who haven’t had it,” said Qas.