Mental health: privilege in coronavirus times

coronavirus 2020_

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr Ronny Alexander Llumiquinga Achi, a 2nd semester student at ESPOCH´s (Escuela Superior Politécnica de Chimborazo) medical school, located in Riobamba, Chimborazo, Ecuador. He 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 writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The world is in the midst of a sanitary crisis caused by the appearance of COVID-19. Undoubtedly this event has unleashed a series of problems, with mental health being one of the most vulnerable points that have affected people.

According to the WHO (WHO, 2020) mental health involves a wide variety of activities that are related to psychological well-being, that is, it is an important part of a series of somatic and social factors. The mental balance of people facing this situation is a latent problem because nowadays it seeks to highlight other issues such as alarming figures or false information and downplay the important information of other health problems that could come up or worsen such as the mental health of people in quarantine or sick by the virus. Vladimir Bustinza (Bustinza, 2019) points out that mental illness like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia on a global scale harm more than one person in five. COVID-19 brought with it a number of changes that had to be adopted to mitigate the spread of this disease. An abrupt change in the way of living created the environment for people’s mental health to be affected. Staying at home in isolation is not natural for the human-like social entity and it is one of the main factors for the human being not to be well psychologically. According to Holt-Lunstad and others (Lunstad, Smith, & et al, 2015) from Brigham Young University in a study carried out in social isolation, highlight that prolonged confinement is somatically equivalent to consuming fifteen cigarettes a day.  The impotence when not being able to carry out every day life or that cannot be provided with a solution, triggers health problems such as stress, depression, anxiety, fear, frustraction, panic, which can be aggravated in people who already suffered from these problems, confirms Juan Castillas (Castilla, 2020) also to the other symptoms like loss of appetite, lack of libido, and even develop hypochondria.

All of this causes certain questions to be raised: ¿What can be done to avoid psychological decline? How can we best cope with the situation? What role do we play and how can we best support the problem? For the care of mental health within the quarantine, activities such as exercise, reading, adequate rest, healthy food, above all, avoiding fake news and keeping socially connected through digital means can be done. Those people who face this crisis from their homes and have a different vision than medical personnel, hospital cleaners, military, also receive the duty to contribute to solving this problem, it is more much of the remedy is that people stay at home and practice all measures of prevention like washing hands and social distancing, is the best way to support and is the role that people play.

Mental health in times of coronavirus has become a privilege that should be taken care of as much as possible to avoid having or worsening other health problems.

About the author

Ronny Alexander Llumiquinga Achi is nineteen years old. He is a 2nd semester student at ESPOCH´s (Escuela Superior Politécnica de Chimborazo) medical school, located in Riobamba, Chimborazo, Ecuador. Graduated from “Unidad Educativa Santo Tomás Apóstol de Riobamba” in 2017. He studied English at ILE (Instituto de Lenguas Extranjeras) from “San Francisco” University. He studies medicin because he wants be a doctor that be able to help neediest people and he hopes in the future study neuroanatomy speciality, also He hopes change the world although a Little bit when he will be doctor.

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