Covid-19 Has Turned Our World Upside Down (Essay Example)


Pandemics are large-scale outbreaks of communicable diseases that may greatly increase morbidity and mortality over a large geographical region (Madhav, 2017). Evidence suggests that the chance of pandemics has inflated over the past century due to increased world travel, integration, urbanization, changes in land use, and larger exploitation of the natural environment. These trends are very likely to continue and they will progressively get worse. The psychological problems caused by a pandemic could potentially be more harmful in the long run than the virus itself. 

COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. Everything has changed. How we live and socialize with each other, how we work, and how we travel. This unpredictable, fast-spreading infectious disease has been causing universal awareness, anxiety, and distress, all of which according to WHO are natural psychological responses to the randomly changing condition (Dubey et al., 2020). These psychosomatic issues people are experiencing are heavily caused by the constant flow of information the media is releasing. 

COVID-19 has forced many countries to quarantine their population for disease control measures. Not counting physical suffering, the effects of quarantine on mental health, and a person’s general well-being are astronomical. The mass quarantine can produce mass hysteria, anxiety, and distress, due to loss of control of their life. This can worsen if families need separation due to disease exposures, an insufficient supply of basic essentials (food, water, toilet paper), and financial losses (Dubey et al., 2020).  The psychological impact of quarantine can vary from immediate effects, like annoyance, fear of contracting and spreading the infection to family members, anger, confusion, frustration, loneliness, denial, anxiety, depression, insomnia, to extremes of consequences, including suicide (Dubey et al., 2020). 

An experiment in a research laboratory at the University of Ottawa found that members were affected by anxiety, stress, sleep deprivation, etc. Although, a humanistic approach allowed members to share their COVID-19 experiences in an empathetic atmosphere that helps them to regain their effectiveness, create hope, and develop resilience (Cénat, 2020). On March 13, 2020, the university shut down all non-essential activities and moved to online schooling, like most of the schools across the nation did. Having the fear of being infected gave professors and students additional stress. Since the government then implemented strict confinement rules, most students rushed back home, with more stress about being infected with COVID-19 and the measures implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

The pandemic hit at the exact time the university was about to conduct the V-TRaC lab. The V-TRaC research lab studies the impact of vulnerability and trauma in relation to coping and resilience strategies. Since this lab works with vulnerable groups and communities, there would be no more perfect time to conduct this study than during a pandemic, except gathering data was complicated due to confinement rules. Usually, they go to churches, mosques, community organizations, student associations, community radio shows, cultural programs, sports teams, and youth associations to distribute questionnaires, conduct interviews and focus groups, promote participation in data collection, or educate and raise awareness on mental health issues or issues related to domestic violence (Cénat, 2020). Sadly, the quarantine guidelines had messed this part of the study up. Many virtual meetings held with the members did not successfully allow the teams to make progress on their projects. Losing many points of reference at once is challenging and requires support in order to execute the research well. Positive and authentic leadership plays an important role here. 

They had weekly teleconference meetings where the students would share their objective and subjective experiences with the COVID-19 and mainly focus on the confinement. Over the course of these meetings, many students quickly adapted to their new reality. The one-and-a-half-hour group meetings were based on a rather integrative approach offering everyone the opportunity to share their experiences within a profoundly caring, empathic, non-directive, non-judgmental, and humanistic group (Cénat, 2020). The meetings were based on four main pillars: Freedom to join as they please, Discuss present pandemic-related experiences, Self-reflection and self-discovery, exploration of one’s adaptability and resiliency during the pandemic, and Offer respect and authenticity of expression in an egalitarian and non-directive sharing environment (Cénat, 2020). During the meetings, students read poetry, quotes, and texts, shared pictures of their paintings and home-cooked meals, and took new initiatives to help each other cope with the confinement measures and the time of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic represents. This lab included that many students were experiencing psychological disorders and that the humanistic approach can help recover effectiveness, and develop coping and resilience strategies. 

The national quarantine mandate also has an effect on children’s and adolescents’ mental health. During the pandemic, we have had the chance for personal growth and more family time, but the disadvantages outweigh the benefits. Anxiety, lack of peer contact, and fewer opportunities for stress regulation are the main concerns. One of the main threats is an increased risk for parental mental illness, domestic violence, and child maltreatment. Especially for children and adolescents with special needs or disadvantages, such as disabilities, trauma experiences, already existing mental health problems, migrant background, and low socioeconomic status, this may be a particularly challenging time (Fegert, 2020). Some of these children depend on schools for behavioral and mental health support. It appears that schools are considering mental health issues as secondary or unrelated to academic successes (Phelps, 2020).  Without these services, the pandemic could be contributing to trauma for many children across this country, increasing the chances of developing mood and anxiety disorders. 

All in all, there are numerous mental health illnesses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and current restrictions. These illnesses range from anxiety and depression to suicide. Psychologists and doctors are finding better ways to prepare for a pandemic and how to respond in regard to mental health illnesses. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown us how a “virus” can turn our lives upside down, but also made us realize that the greatest gifts of mankind are health, peace, love, unity, and knowledge.

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