The COVID Pandemic has caused a great degree of panic around the world. This has lead to the rise of fear, worry, and concern among the population of different countries especially among those who are in their 50’s, care providers, and people with serious health conditions.
If I talk about the mental state which has taken a great toll on the minds of the people causing a psychological impact has elevated the risk of stress and anxiety. With that, new measures are introduced as strict SOP’s such as “quarantine”. At the same time, the effects of quarantine on routine activities, livelihood, loneliness, harming oneself, or the symptoms leading to suicide are also expected to rise.
The KKF poll reports nearly (45%) Americans have experienced mental health issues, impacting them negatively due to stress and worry over the virus. As many as (47 million) US adults prior to COVID 19 reported mental illness and over 11 million had a serious mental illness in the past year.
New events are unfolding every day and we may not see the world as it was used to be pre-COVID, however, it’s important how we react to the situation at hand that has disrupted our lives and communities. Fortunately enough, humans possess a great deal of strength and cooperation that can lead to how we as individuals can respond effectively in the time of crisis.
The Impact on Children’s Mental Health
Children are the most impacted as they face an enormous disruption in their lives. The experience of fear, worry, and anxiety such as dying, death of a relative or receiving proper medical treatment, all of which contribute badly to the mental state of a child.
Schools and universities are all closed as part of necessary measures, hence the sense of social support provided by that environment is now missing, giving less opportunity to spend time with friends and teachers which is very essential for good mental well-being.
Taking numbers into account, 30 million students have been affected in the US alone in different states due to the closure of schools.
This increases exposure to domestic violence if their home is not a safe place to be.
Now, that is alarming!
Although every child is different and they perceive things differently, the younger ones, however, may find it difficult to cope with the situation and that may express anger and irritability. This leads to unwanted pressure on parents because of the demands they may face.
A strategy that can be employed by the parents and their careers is, to be honest with them, explaining the situation in a manner and language they can understand only. They also need to be able to handle their own stress resulting in a role model for their children. All this can be achieved by having proper routine management in which a child is able to express themselves freely through creative activities.
Loss of Jobs Can Cause Mental Health Risks
The risk of unemployment is the single most important factor that can cause serious mental stress and illness. The report by the US Labor department points to the fact that figures accumulated are very devastating, whereas WHO has noted that depression and anxiety have cost the global economy $1 trillion dollars per year in lost productivity.
The policymakers now need to come up with a plan to reduce long term psychological risks in the wake of COVID 19 by alleviating economic disparities. For this purpose, we may need more innovation from employers to accelerate the process of job redeployment by incentivizing investments in local job growth. Thus, people are able to meet basic needs such as food, housing, and healthcare.
How People are Fighting Stress & Fatigue During COVID-19?
Our minds are already fighting all the negativity over the uncertain future resulting in sleepless nights causing a day time fatigue. The following are a few things people have adopted across the world as a means to fighting fatigue and stress.
Yoga has proved to be a great stress reliever and people are doing just that to cope up with mental pressure. It not only offers a physical workout but also a spiritual experience which aids in a multitude of benefits including improved fitness, quality of sleep, improved focus, and a reduction in stress.
As yoga needs a lot of focus, people have also chosen other activities to relieve stress such as cycling, running, and working out at home. Many have adopted different exercises as part of their daily routine to overcome physical and mental stress. Not only exercises keep you fit but also improves concentration during work.
While many are fighting pandemic by indulging themselves in healthy activities, there are some who are spending time in binge-watching TV shows and movies to overcome mental stress. This is proven by the fact that streaming giant like Netflix is already witnessing an upsurge in new subscribers. With streaming services getting more and more popular, the cybersecurity industry has also seen a rise. This is because tools like VPN helps in unblocking restricted channels, shows, and libraries from around the world.
How Internet Plays a Role During COVID-19?
The internet has played a major role in all this crisis where many have lost their jobs but there are others too who have managed to retain it. I am talking about the Big, Medium, and Small IT companies that don’t need a physical space to run their operations.
Google and Facebook have already announced work from home till 2021.
This way it has enabled many to work from home because all you need is an internet connection and a personal device. This may help in reducing the risk of mental stress and anxiety because of job security, however, you may still need to face remote work security threats.
So, while other industries have taken a hit, the IT companies have sustained the impact of COVID.
All in all, COVID has caused some serious damage not only to the economies but to humans as a whole. This has not only disrupted our lives but our mental state too. So, we now need to accept the fact that the virus is among us and we need to live with it, however for your own well being and well being of others, follow the SOPs set by WHO and your government.