The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health

covid postit

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Nimisha Ramesh, a third year medical student studying in Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical
College, Pune, India. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


In a period of just a few months, COVID-19 has turned from a small cluster of cases to a global pandemic, which is not just killing people, but also, affecting economies, trades, businesses, livelihoods and also the physical and mental well-being of all populations.

The physical distancing and lockdown measures being implemented to contain the transmission of the virus, comes with the inherent risk of depriving poor households from being able to sustain their livelihoods. The shortage of food and essential services, even if only for a short period of time, can have devastating effects on their mental health. The economic impact of the pandemic on financial markets, micro-businesses and vulnerable industries has increased the risk of unemployment, further leading to an environment of uncertainty and financial concerns for the least well-paid, self-employed and daily wage workers.

The direct impact of COVID-19 infection has been the loss of lives. The psycho-social impact of the loss of family members and friends cannot be neglected. Furthermore, man being a social animal, the effects of physical distancing measures and movement restrictions, on mental health should not be overlooked. The mental health of the healthcare providers and other essential workers who have been providing essential services while being susceptible to the infection, represent another cause for concern. Domestic violence, abuse and being witness to the violence of a family member, while being confined at homes, can have serious influence on mental health.

Adapting to change is the key to survival. Today, the duration of these lockdowns and the international fight against this global pandemic remains unclear. In this situation, where person to person interaction has reduced, schedules and routines have been interrupted and access to care providers has become limited, many psychologists have come ahead to provide free online counselling. Learning and making use of the various telephone hotlines available and being a part of reliable support groups on social media can help us manage our mental health in this chaotic time. Having a structured schedule, establishing a simple morning routine, taking adequate rest and practicing self-care by using strategies such as breathing exercises, relaxation exercises and cultivating hobbies, can be useful. It is also important to minimize the time being spent on watching, reading or listening to news about COVID-19 while also limiting the sources of news to only the reliable ones.

Some frontline workers, and people of certain ethnicities and nationalities may experience ostracization due to stigma; which can be detrimental to the mental well-being of affected individuals and their families. It is important to counteract misconceptions leading to stigmatization of any population. Health care providers must ensure rest between work-shifts, take care of basic needs and stay in contact with family and friends.

This pandemic is a test of our solidarity and our abilities to cope with change, and it is vital that we take care of our mental as well as physical health, while extending support to others.

About the author

Nimisha Ramesh is a third year medical student studying in Bharati Vidyapeeth Medical
College, Pune, India. She is currently working as the Local Officer on Public Health for the term 2019-2020. She has won various debates, extempores and pageants. She is a public speaker and a singer. In her spare time, she records cover songs for her YouTube channel. She is interested in research and is a public health enthusiast. The picture of a healthy and happy world where every person is able to live a healthy and productive life, irrespective of their socioeconomic background or financial conditions, is what motivates her.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

‘Ghost fishing’ is threatening our oceans. Here’s how we can tackle it

Realise the beauty of unity in diversity

How powering food storage could end hunger

MWC 2016 LIVE: 5G to embrace unlicensed bands and Wi-Fi

99 per cent of intravenous drug users lack access to health, ‘social services with dignity’ says UNAIDS chief

Parliament approves €500 million for schooling of refugee children in Turkey

Germany’s strong anti-bribery enforcement against individuals needs to be matched by comparably strong enforcement against companies

We need to change the fast fashion model. Here’s how

5 surprising ways major cities are going green

Central African Republic: UNICEF outlines key actions so fresh peace deal can make real difference for children

How AI is bringing the ‘dark matter of nutrition’ to light, unlocking the power of plants

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

Africa: Urgent action needed to mobilise domestic resources as tax revenues plateau

Fairer food supply chain: Agriculture MEPs clamp down on unfair trading

Japan should reform retirement policies to meet challenge of ageing workforce

German egotistic inward turn to badly hurt Europe after Merkel’s exit

5 things to know about the Western Balkans

Amsterdam is getting a 3D-printed bridge

Asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, symptomatic: what is the difference?

Is poor generational intelligence holding you back at work?

Rule of Law: The Commission opens a debate to strengthen the rule of law in the EU

All for equality – 2020 is a pivotal year for Gender Equality

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €1.49 billion for abusive practices in online advertising

Alexis Tsipras ready to test Eurozone’s political sturdiness; Up to what point?

COP21 Breaking News_05 December: Carbon Price Needed for Climate Change Success

A ship with containers at the port of Rotterdam. (Copyright: European Union. Source: EC - Audiovisual Service. Photo: Robert Meerding)

US follows the EU in impeding China market economy status in WTO

Germany resists Macron’s plan for closer and more cohesive Eurozone; Paris and Berlin at odds

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s speech from World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions

COVID-19: What the evidence so far means for containment

Questions and answers: Commission proposes SURE, a new temporary instrument worth up to €100 billion to help protect jobs and people in work

Youth2030: UN chief launches bold new strategy for young people ‘to lead’

TTIP: why it is worth not to pull the covers over your head?

Will the Greek economy ever come back to growth?

5 ways to be a better humanitarian

G20 LIVE: “Re-envisioning the economy to enable women to reach their full potential” live from Antalya Turkey

Universal basic income is the answer to the inequalities exposed by COVID-19

To build the workforce of the future, we need to revolutionize how we learn

Why the Fourth Industrial Revolution could spell more jobs – not fewer

UN human rights ruling could boost climate change asylum claims

MWC19 Wrap Up, in association with The European Sting, GSMA’s Brussels Media Partner for the 6th Consecutive Year

Parliament wants binding rules on common chargers to be tabled by summer

Do you dare to go to China?

Cholera surges, children in urgent need one month after Cyclone Idai slammed southern Africa – UNICEF

Juncker Plan exceeds original €315 billion investment target

Scotland in United Kingdom: It’s either the end or the beginning of the end

“Smoking steam instead of tobacco, are the E-cigarettes a safer alternative?”

Now is the time to seize ‘unprecedented opportunity’ of the Sustainable Development Forum, says ECOSOC President

Trade marks: Commission decides to refer Romania to the Court of Justice for not transposing the Trade Mark Directive

What are the greatest global health threats?

5 things you might not know about Leonardo da Vinci

COVID-19: EU co-finances the delivery of more protective equipment to China

Delhi Declaration: Countries agree to make ‘land degradation neutrality’ by 2030, a national target for action

Why do humanitarian crises disproportionately affect women?

Do men and women really have different leadership styles?

A silent killer: the impact of a changing climate on health

Step up action to protect the planet during wartime: UN environment chief

Silk Road Unlimited

You will be eating replacement meats within 20 years. Here’s why

These are New York Public Library’s 10 most borrowed books

An ECB banker wants to change the European social model

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s