When the first news about the new coronavirus spread in the media, nobody could have predicted the magnitude of the problem. Yet, the virus was slowly spreading and soon would paralyze the whole world as more and more governments would choose general lockdowns as preventive measures.
People joke that living through a major historical event sucks; however, it’s most often laughter through tears. The ongoing pandemic seems to have halted life, and many people cannot find themselves in this new reality.
During recurrent lockdowns, they cannot go to school or work, may go shopping only for necessities, no events are hosted, and human interactions are significantly limited, which is something we simply aren’t used to. Additionally, everyone is obliged to wear face masks and make use of a Covid-19 test kit almost on a regular basis. With the social distancing and perpetual anxiety, many people experience loneliness and face mental health issues.
The pandemic’s effect on people has been immense, and for sure, it will be the main topic of research for many years. Below, we get a bit into details of these changes and disruptions.
Lockdown is a buzzword in today’s world. It defines the situation when people need to isolate themselves or are being isolated from others by third parties (in the case of the pandemic – a government). When people are locked at home, their lives change drastically. They cannot go out, socialize, and have fun.
Some of the most significant lifestyle changes include:
Working from Home
In order to ensure the safety of the working class, many business owners have decided to close their offices and allow their employees to work from home. This is a convenient solution for both companies and workers as they could continue their work without worrying about the pandemic.
However, this also caused problems because a lot of businesses needed to close entirely or reduce their staff; the export was significantly disrupted, which all had an enormous impact on the economy. Another problem is that some people prefer working in an office environment with other people; remote work is certainly convenient, but it excludes social interactions and can make it more difficult for workers to communicate.
Schools and Colleges’ Lockdowns
In the first days of the pandemic, schools and colleges were closed. The reason was that schools served as a perfect breeding ground for the outbreak. Later on, they were reopened, but lockdowns would occur frequently. Schools and colleges were where people gathered in large numbers and usually stayed within the school premises throughout the day.
As a result, many young people have had no access to decent education (as remote classes failed in many countries) and no opportunity to spend time with other students. This has a negative impact on their mental health and potentially their future as well.
Lack of Socialising
Socializing is usually considered to be one of the key elements contributing to the state of mental health. During lockdowns, people cannot meet with their friends; they can only stay at home, which can cause a significant impact on their health, especially if their domestic situation is not entirely perfect.
Additionally, many social events have been canceled because of the pandemic, and only a few countries have so far allowed public gatherings to take place. This has caused a significant impact on people who usually go out to such events and spend time with other people. Not to mention that the pandemic also made it impossible for many people to see their loved ones.
Mental Health Disruptions
There’s no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused problems that will stay with us for a long while – with some, maybe even forever. All the fear, lack of social interaction, disrupted lifestyles have resulted in the increase of mental health struggles.
Some of the most common issues now include:
Anxiety Disorders (Social Phobia, Agoraphobia, Panic Disorder)
One of the most common psychological disorders is social anxiety, which can manifest in different forms. People who suffer from this disorder become insecure in any social situation and fear that their behavioral patterns will make them look ridiculous. Additionally, they fear being judged by other people, saying the wrong thing, and being rejected by others.
Another type of anxiety disorder is agoraphobia, which is considered a severe anxiety disorder that involves the fear of being trapped in public places, such as airports and shopping malls. These people prefer not to go out at all for fear that they might get trapped and be unable to escape.
Panic disorder includes recurrent unexpected panic attacks and severe anxiety symptoms.
Constant fear, isolation, and the lack of social interaction might (though they don’t have to) lead to these disorders. It can also make it worse for those who already struggle with some (or all) of them.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder is one of the most common anxiety disorders and is often associated with depression. People who suffer from GAD tend to worry about everything. They become frightened without reason and believe that they are always in danger. It’s not difficult to see how the pandemic can contribute to suffering from GAD.
Depression is a mental health problem that involves a general feeling of sadness, a lack of interest in anything, and a feeling of hopelessness. Additionally, people who suffer from depression have difficulties concentrating and making decisions. Moreover, they become irritable easily and experience a loss of appetite.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological disorder that usually appears after a traumatic event. People who have PTSD have flashbacks of the traumatic event, and they tend to avoid situations that may trigger them to remember the trauma. Additionally, people who have PTSD might have nightmares that are directly related to the traumatic event.
Sleep disruptions are another common psychological disorder that is usually associated with different anxiety issues. People who suffer from sleep disruptions have difficulties falling asleep, and when they do fall asleep, they tend to wake up in the early hours of the morning. Additionally, they feel fatigued in the morning, depressed, and have difficulties concentrating.
Disturbance in Eating Behaviours
Many people had experienced changes in their eating behaviors while in lockdown, especially during the first stages of the pandemic when no one knew what was going on. They are likely to lose or gain weight, develop eating disorders, or be generally worse due to the lack of some vitamins or other nutrients.
This article is meant to overview the lifestyle disruptions and mental health issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. As you can see, the effects of the pandemic are widespread, and they affect everyone around the world.
At first, all governments decided to impose social distancing measures on their citizens, but it soon became apparent that these measures were unlikely to help stop the spread of the virus. What happened next was the mass closure of schools, colleges, offices, and other public spaces.
If you feel anxious, depressed, or have some other mental health issues associated with COVID-19, please seek help from a medical professional. You can also try some natural remedies to relieve your symptoms.