The effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of the youth

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Thi Ngoc Huyen, a fresh graduate from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. She is affiliated with 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.

COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted not only the physical health but also the mental health of human, especially the youth generation. Vietnam is one of the nations that applied strict measures to control the spread of infection, including the social distancing leading to a major disruption in daily habits.

The youth have to learn from home instead of going to school due to COVID-19. Because of this change, online platforms become to be an important solution to support their study. This means the inability to access one to one interaction with their friends and  physical classes.

Online learning can increasingly create difficulty for students who have limited resources such as in remote areas. On the estimate, the nationwide closures of schools and colleges have negatively impacted over 91% of the world’s student population.

It is undeniable that social distancing is one of the best ways to avoid exposure to the virus. However, having distance from beloved people is not easy. The young generation has to change their social habits, such as cancelling friends or family gathering, parties even when the important event in their life like the graduation ceremony or funeral of relatives.

These changes are causing anxiety, confusion, and fear. Therefore, people need to help the youth find alternative ways to connect and support them from a distance.

From March 2021, the Vietnam government has launched its largest-ever vaccination campaign for the entire population to intending to achieve herd immunity by year-end or early 2022. Although the vaccine is essential, the side effect after getting the newly COVID-19 vaccine is also a crucial problem causing anxiety of the youth.

Because of the development of social media, they can easily access information related to this vaccine. Therefore, it is hard to distinguish between real or fake information. The fear and anxiety among the youth can lead to the hesitancy in getting vaccination and thus cause psychological disorders, such as depression.

It is been 2 years since the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Living with the pandemic is inevitable at this time so that we should maintain a healthy lifestyle and need to do our best to take care of ourselves.

About the author

Dao Thi Ngoc Huyen is a fresh graduate from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. She has interests research on intensive care, palliative care and community healthcare.

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