A pandemic is more than simply a medical emergency; it impacts people and society, causing chaos, worry, stress, stigma, and xenophobia. Individual conduct as a unit of society or a community has a significant impact on the dynamics of a pandemic, including the intensity, flow, and aftereffects. The rapid human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2 necessitated the imposition of regional lockdowns in order to prevent the disease from spreading further. The restrictive policies, on the other hand, have definitely had a negative impact on people’s social and mental health. As more individuals are compelled to stay at home in self-isolation to prevent the disease from spreading further at a societal level, governments must take the required steps to give mental health assistance as recommended by experts. An individual’s psychological condition as it pertains to community health differs from person to person and is influenced by his history, career and social status. Self-isolation and quarantine are likely to have a detrimental influence on one’s mental health. A review published in The Lancet said that separation from loved ones, loss of freedom, boredom, and uncertainty can cause a deterioration in an individual’s mental health status. Children who are at home, away from school, friends, and colleagues, may have many questions regarding the pandemic, and they turn to their parents or caregivers for answers. Anxiety, discomfort, social isolation, and an abusive environment may all affect a child’s mental health in the short or long term. Parents must remain cool, deal with the situation appropriately, and answer all of the child’s inquiries to the best of their abilities to assist balance bad behaviours. Parents may reassure their children that they are secure at home and encourage them to participate in healthy activities such as indoor sports and mental and physical exercises. Children perceive and feel bad energy from their parents; therefore, parents should display less tension or anxiety at home. Parental engagement in healthful activities with their children can assist to alleviate tension and anxiety and offer comfort to the situation as a whole Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 outbreak for both clinical and social reasons, such as a weakened immune system or other underlying health issues, as well as the distance from family and friends owing to their busy schedules.
Even if they are in good health, persons aged 60 and up are more likely to contract SARS-CoV-2 and develop a serious and life-threatening illness, according to medical specialists. Physical separation caused by the COVID-19 outbreak can have a significant detrimental impact on the mental health of the elderly and handicapped. Physical isolation within family members might jeopardise the mental health of the elderly and handicapped. It can give them anxiety, distress, and perhaps put them in a traumatic situation. Older people rely on their children for their everyday needs, and isolation can be detrimental to a family structure. Nursing home residents, especially the old and disabled, might suffer from severe mental health problems. During a pandemic, however, something as simple as a phone call can assist to soothe older folks. COVID-19 may cause increased stress, worry, and depression in older persons who already have mental health problems. According to the World Health Organization, family members should check on elderly individuals at home and in nursing homes frequently. Younger family members should spend time talking with elder family members and, if feasible, become part of some of their daily activities. Doctors, nurses, and paramedics who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 epidemic may be more vulnerable to mental health issues. Long working hours, a lack of protective gear and supplies, a high patient load, a lack of effective COVID-19 medication, the death of a colleague after exposure to COVID-19, social distancing and isolation from family and friends, and the dire situation of their patients may all hurt health workers’ mental health. Finally, I’ll leave you with the notion that, while Covid 19 may influence one’s mental health, we should always be cautious and take away the following advice: • Staying physically active • Looking after our mental health • Quitting tobacco • Healthy parenting • Eating healthily
(Author, a student of Kashmir University’s Micro Biology Department is a freelancer. Views are his own)