In Rio waters, Brazilian swimmers beat pandemic blues in battles against pandesis

In Rio waters, Brazilian swimmers beat pandemic blues in battles against pandesis ...

Amanda Brandao travels into the blue-green Atlantic and joins a group of swimmers seeking to leave their stress on shore, most weekday mornings, as the sun sets the golden arc of Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach.

Brandao was given much-needed relief from the severe coronavirus epidemic, which has killed almost 600,000 people in Brazil, after the early morning ritual, shared with about two dozen other swimmers. During the outbreak, the university professor suffered a stress-related illness, and she believes the swims in Copacabana's cold waters have helped her recover.

"I already had some treatment, but it didn't work," she said. "So I decided to start swimming because a friend recommended it, and it has changed my life."

In the aftermath of the epidemic, millions of people around the world have suffered mental health difficulties. Weeks and months of isolation at home, with work and childcare upended, and the disease ravaged many communities, leaving many struggling to cope.

Last year, health experts in the United States stated that a pandemic-related mental illness epidemic was in.

Many were taking into account the impact it had on them and struggling with what they had encountered as people emerged from the worst of Brazil's outbreak in the first half of the year, according to Gabriela Abritta, a Rio clinical psychologist.

"People are beginning to see what happened now that people are more liberated, post-vaccine," Abritta said. "I believe sports make a difference."

Bernardo Tillmann, one of the individuals who leads swimmers out to sea, was convinced that the ocean could assist the many individuals he witnessed arrive while suffering from depression.

"Talking about mental health is a taboo," he added. "When you approach the open water, it helps everyone."

Guillermo Rodrigues, a local doctor, believes that the sea swims are now an integral part of his self-care regime.

"There's a feeling that life is returning to normal, but not without looking after ourselves," he added.

Gabriel Stargardter wrote poetry. Alistair Bell's Editing of Alisstair bell' Editorial

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