COVID-19, Lockdown and Its Impact on People’s Mental Health in India

Seems like COVID-19 has not only been affecting the physical health of the people but also attacking mental health. India, where the first lockdown was introduced on March 25, 2020, followed by a couple of more lockdown sessions, has still not opened completely. This has been drastically affecting the mental health of the people in India. The prolonged lockdown has ensured or at least tried to restrain millions of people from stepping out of their homes. We cannot deny the fact that the lockdown has been playing an important role in containing the corona virus cases. However, this very lockdown has not been a friend for a lot many people and has affected the masses emotionally and mentally.

How Does the Lockdown Affect People in a Negative Way?

The COVID-19 and lockdown have changed the way we live to a very large extent. Since the arrival of coronavirus cases in India, the lives of the people has not been the same as it used to be. The lockdown has directly affected our physical movement as we can neither go outside of our houses nor indulge in any physical activity. Even if go outside of our houses for getting essential supplies, we have to maintain the social distance so that no one can touch us or can come very close to us. All the public places, shopping malls, offices, factories, schools, colleges, parks and other areas where people used to come into one another’s contact have been shut for months. Though a lot of places have opened now, however, many offices and workplaces are still not open with a full man force.

The sudden announcement of the lockdown has left millions of people either stranded out of their native places or locked in the rental houses with no income whatsoever. Thousands of security guards, maids, gardeners, cleaners and other related service providers have been thrown out of their contractual jobs due to the fear of coronavirus spread. We are living in a time where the people have been caught up with problems from everywhere. Millions of people have lost their employments, facing financial issues, cannot go to work, schools, and colleges or meet their friends and relatives. Apart from all this, they have the fear of catching any COVID-19 symptoms.

The impact of lockdown is the worst on those people who are either not financially strong, living alone or physically, emotionally and psychologically weak. Another community that has been enduring the pain of the lockdown is the old and sick people. People who are old and sick and do not have the family members around to take care of them are among the worst groups of people affected by the lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic. Owing to having old age, such people are at a higher risk of getting infected by the corona virus. Knowing that you are at a higher risk of any disease while not having your loved ones around is the worst feeling one could have. And, our old age people are facing such psychological trauma on a daily basis. Other than that, there are millions of people who are continuously working for providing us with the essential services on a daily basis even during the pandemic. Apart from having caught up with the COVID-19 diseases, they also have the fear to carry the corona virus symptoms to homes every day. And the same is the case with our doctors, cleaners, defence personnel and other medical staff who are protecting us from the COVID-19 every single minute without thinking about their own health and safety.

The After-Effects of Lockdown on Mental Health in India

The COVID-19 pandemic has been doing great damages to the world, which will affect our generation for long. According to a survey conducted by The Mavericks India, as many as 61 per cents of Indians are suffering from mental health issues due to the prolonged lockdown. The uncertainty and current and upcoming financial crisis have impacted millions of people in India. The study further shows that women have been affected more than men due to the sudden escalation in domestic responsibilities with no regular family income. In the wake of not having assistance from the domestic helpers, the load of work has been increased tremendously on women primarily.

The most significant change that the world is going to see post COVID-19 pandemic is the upsurge in the number of work-from-home employments. A lot of veteran companies are looking for adapting to working remotely for a longer period of time post COVID-19 or permanently in many job profiles. Seeing the immediate cost cutting adaptation by tons of multinational companies along with other small and big ventures, working remotely is another way to cut the cost of office rent and real estate expenditures. Besides, work from home saves time and energy of the employee and employers as well. Experts are seeing working remotely as the win-win scenario for both workers and owners.

There is A Ray of Hope!

There is no doubt that C0VID-19 has taken a toll on people’s lives around the globe. It has affected almost every country in the world. The negative influence of the corona virus will be seen for a longer period of time throughout the world. The need of the hour is that we all must stand together and face the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative influences on humankind. Even in this worst time, we have seen, on different occasions, that Indian citizens have united and band together to fight off the circumstances across the country. We have been seeing many feeding hungry and homeless people, providing them with shelters, helping those who are not in a situation to help themselves. Apart from this, take care of your family and friends too. Communicate with them via phone calls, social media and video calls on a regular basis. Cheer them up, let them know that you are there for them. Do not let them feel alone. In this gloomy time, all we need is a ray of hope to build up our strength and rise together once again.