Article Publish Date : June 19, 2020
The Novel Coronavirus have affected people around the globe. But its impact on the population is not alike everywhere in our nation. India currently has a total of 3,92,554 cases and it continues to increase till today. The country went into lockdown on 25th March during phase 1 of the pandemic. With a growing number of dead everyday, the economic conditions continue to stoop lower and lower. People are horrified and helpless wondering every moment if they are the next victim. The ‘New Normal’ of washing hands every hour, using sanitizers, checking the news now and then, wearing masks, is slowly turning into an obsession. Addressing mental health concerns in this hour of global crisis has become crucial.
Certain reports show that during the lockdown period there has been a fall in the number of crimes and a huge reduction in road fatalities, but there has been a steep rise in crime against women. Police have been receiving 587 complaints from March 23 to April 16, out of which 239 are related to domestic violence. Further we see that suicide was the leading cause for over 300 “non-coronavirus deaths” reported in India due to distress triggered by the nationwide lockdown, revealed a new set of data compiled by a group of researchers.
People are so familiar with their workaholic life that being locked at home is causing them with frustration and loneliness. The 9 to 5 jobs have processed the human brains in a way that the sudden idleness is making people anxious. While most of us are trying to utilize the time by engaging ourselves in different activities and mastering them, not all are being able to do so. Because of the same monotonous routine we are lacking concentration and losing interest in all sort of activity. We have so much pent up energy that we don’t know how to rightfully channelize it. It’s only during the lockdown that we have realized how we have grown apart from our family members and casted aside our loved ones. We are only accustomed to the outside world, friends, acquaintances and colleagues. There are many of us who belong to relatively critical family where the child is neglected or have abusive parents or other miscellaneous problems. In such cases, being confined at home can really be troublesome. Due to the poor economic conditions more people are losing their jobs which is causing additional stress and frustration. People who have managed to store enough liquor before lockdown have engaged in binge drinking, which further aggravated their temperament. Regular drinkers and chain-smokers who could not manage to get hold of liquor or cigarettes, have started showing withdrawal symptoms such as intense cravings, nausea and abdominal cramping, sweating, irritability, insomnia, anxiety and so on.
Certain reports also say that cyber crime in India has surged amidst the country’s unprecedented coronavirus lockdown. A closer examination in the jump in cyber crime reveals that both private and state-sponsored cyber criminals have proven effective at exploiting the ongoing crisis.
We must not forget about the destitute ones. Their conditions have worsened during this time. The daily-wage workers are denied their due payments. Without money and means to travel they do not know what they’ll feed their family or even if they’ll see them again.
The country was already overwhelmed with the prevailing conditions when West Bengal was hit by a terrific cyclone – ‘Amphan’. In the city area there was no electricity up to four, five days with no means of drinking water.
KMC officials have already claimed that almost 5,000 trees have been uprooted in Kolkata alone. But, if we look at the Kolkata Metropolitan Area (which covers 72 municipalities, and 527 towns and villages) then a conservative estimate of affected trees would be somewhere around 10,000, claimed Environmentalist and Green Technologist, Somendra Mohan Ghosh. (Source: news18.com). The kutcha houses on the outskirts and in rural areas were damaged as trees fell on them.
The pandemic along with other natural disasters have disfigured our societal lives in the long run. The novel corona virus has given rise to an everlasting fear and anxiety, forcing people to remain conscious of every movement they make.
But as Carl Jung said, “We cannot change anything unless we accept it”, the first step in this situation is to accept our fear and anxiety, in order to deal with it or any similar situation in the later future. Keeping ourselves informed by directives & facts laid down by WHO (World Health Organization) and government census is fundamental. We should also analyze our personal risk and take necessary precautions. We can bring an intentional mindset to unplugging from social media and engage in some fun, healthy activity and spend time with the our loved ones. Since COVID-19 is not the only source of stress in our lives right now, we should consider addressing other sources and reduce the stressors. In order to stay healthy, we have to boost our immune system by choosing to eat fruits and vegetables over comfort food, drink lots of water and exercise. Avoid substance use as in the long run it makes stress & anxiety worse and weakens our immune system. Lastly, seek support from friends or family in times of need as well as provide support to others. Help the necessitous in cash, kind and any means convenient to you. Since we are all in this together, let’s work together for a better tomorrow.
An undergoing psychology student dwelling in the matters of the society.