Global realities of COVID-19 death toll and perceived covid-19 existence
The daily news about COVID-19 has become a major headline in international, local and social media for over eight months. Such information includes but are not limited to; origin and cause, contending measures and compliance to the measures, possible vaccine/cure/solution, politics, belief, myths and coping with the virus, as well as infections, recovery and death toll. More worrisome is the daily global reports of frightening death tolls. The purpose of this study is to x-ray the possible psychological implications of COVID-19 death toll, perceived existence of COVID-19 and to examine whether these are facts or illusions. The study adopted a qualitative-phenomenological approach and sampled nine participants including four females and five males who voluntarily accepted to participate in interviews on their feelings about the realities, prevalent perceptions of COVID-19 and the possible psychological implications. The study was guided by the theory of terror management. Results showed that most people do not doubt the existence of COVID-19 but find the reports of COVID-19 death tolls across the globe as irrational and unacceptable. Also, the finding showed that the non-concrete information given to affected individuals is associated with poorer mental health. Hence, the increasing reported level of fear, anxiety and panic, boredom, withdrawal, cognitive decline, etc. in the people. The study concluded that measures taken to ascertain the accuracy COVID-19 death tolls across the globe be made known to people. It is recommended that government and other healthcare agencies should prioritize psychological care as part of the holistic healthcare for COVID-19 victims.