Community Health Updates
Any pandemic or a disease outbreak is one of the greatest tests of any society. This hard time brings unusual inconveniences and adversities for the people living in the threatened area. Global pandemics lead to greater v2astation. They have long-term effects on almost all the sectors of life across the world. From declining the economy to stopping everyday life, a pandemic has a lot to do with the people. It creates political, economical, and social unrest all around the world.
One of the major effects of any pandemic is the deterioration of the public’s mental health. People experience a sense of fear, threat, anxiety, and restlessness all the time. Most importantly, self-isolation as a consequence of social distancing is reported to harm the mental health of the people. It is often associated with negative feelings and mental illnesses that in severe cases may cause the death of patients.
Man is a social animal. It cannot survive without social connections, communications, and interactions. There are very few people who live happily when isolated. However, the majority of the human population loves to interact. The power of even a momentary touch has long-lasting effects on human wellbeing. One cannot spend the whole life in a particular place with no one or a certain number of people around. It is a human psychological desire to go out in the world, meet new people and make connections. When you spend time with your family or when you go out with friends, you share your problems, everyday routines, your due tasks and what not? All of this interaction is scientifically proven to be cheering, therapeutic, and pain-relieving. However, we should never forget that every picture has two faces. Socializing is good if done with right and positive people. Interaction with negative-minded people is much worse than isolation!
Isolation and mental health
COVID-19 has made us all sit at homes and maintain a distance with the world. Unfortunately, this social distancing is one of the most effective preventive approaches towards pandemic. People who v2elop the disease or acquire the infection are also quarantined to limit the spread. The health care experts are continuously emphasizing on limiting human contact. People aren’t allowed to leave their houses until it is very necessary. All the markets have been closed down except for grocery stores, bakeries, hospitals, health care units, pharmacies, etc. People working at such places are also directed to maintain healthy distances for minimizing the chances of infection.
This state of isolation at homes is reportedly affecting the mental health of people especially the ones locked in their homes. The working members are disturbed due to their jobs and declining businesses. Children especially students are worried about their studies as they are unable to go to school, colleges or universities. Many of them must be missing their friends and the fun they had at schools or colleges. Everyone has mental health issues that they are battling in different ways. Doctors and paramedical staff working 24/7 in the hospitals are mentally exhausted. They are tired of living away from their loved ones and performing duties day and night. The patients of COVID-19 living at the quarantine centers are said to have the greatest mental health issues. The disease cuts their contact with the outer world which is not less than a trauma. They demand greater attention and empathy. The poor class of the society who used to work on daily wages is suffering the most. People don’t have anything to eat and no work which is very traumatic for them.
There are a lot of studies that indicate an increase in the rate of v2elopment of mental illnesses during isolation. Anxiety and depression are once again hitting people hard. The daily news regarding worldwide deaths creates a sense of mental unrest among the general population. This wave of fretfulness mixed angst is decreasing the morale of people and compels them to surrender before the disease. The disease might not catch them but their fear of catching it makes the situation more miserable. People who have already fallen prey to numerous mental illnesses depict much worse symptoms! All of these responses are much obvious and expected but, if not controlled in time, they can lead to unexpectedly dangerous outcomes.
What needs to be done?
It is necessary to treat the disease but it is more important to motivate the people to fight it. COVID-19 might not be curable but at least we can fight it with motivation. The health care staff should ensure some safety measures concerning the mental health of the population. The perceptions of the patient about the situation can help them to fight both isolation and the disease very well.
Here we present a few tips to fight mental illnesses during the isolation.
One of the key tips to avoid mental illnesses is to prevent them from v2eloping. Don’t let yourself to consume your mind over negative imagination. Keep your thoughts positive and hopes high. Practice isolation creatively! Invest your time in creative work. Make friends with yourself and your family members and spend quality time with them. Try to spend your day doing what you always wanted to or what you love to do. Parents should motivate their children to practice healthy hobbies. Children should help their parents with household chores. Eat healthy food. Keeping all the tensions aside, try to take out some time to meditate. Make a regular exercise schedule, encourage your children to work out with you too. The infected people, living in quarantine, should not panic and fight the disease with strength. The medical staff shouldn’t only treat them but also empathize with them. If possible, they should let the patients contact their family members over phone calls.
We all need to understand that we are together in this hard time. We should support each other with all the available resources and pray for the health of the whole world!
- CDC, Coronavirus, 2019 (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html)
- HUB, John Hopkins University, 2020 (https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/04/06/dani-fallin-mental-health-challenges-coronavirus/)
- WHO, Coronavirus-mental health consideration, 2020 (https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf)
- Global news (https://globalnews.ca/news/6776142/covid-19-pandemic-mental-health/)
- Venkatesh, A., & Edirappuli, S. (2020). Social distancing in covid-19: what are the mental health implications?. Bmj, 369.