Covid-19 is a disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus. The first case was originated in Wuhan, China in November, 2019. Common symptoms of Covid-19 include fever, cough, fatigue, breathing difficulties and loss of smell and taste. Preventive measures include use of mask, sanitizers, hand washing and maintain social distancing. There is no specific treatment for this virus.
On 24 March, 2020, Government of India announced proper lockdown for 21 days, limiting movement of the entire population of the country as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 pandemic in India. It was ordered after 24 hours curfew on 22nd March, 2020, followed by enforcement of a series of lockdown in the country’s Covid-19 affected areas. The lockdown was placed when a high number of positive cases were reported in the country. Observers reported that lockdown has slowed the growth of noble corona virus positive cases. After that the government of India extended the lockdown several times till August.
Lockdown becomes one of the most searched words in year 2020.
A lockdown is for people to stay where they are, usually due to specific risk to themselves and to others if they move freely. Widespread lockdown were imposed in the Covid-19 pandemic. A lockdown is used to protect people from the threat or external event. A full lockdown generally means that people must stay where they are and may not enter or exit a building or room within it.
During Covid-19 pandemic, the term lockdown was used for actions related to mass quarantines or stay at home orders. By April, 2020 more than half of the population of the world was in lockdown, their movement was restricted, they were not allowed to move out of their homes. In many countries or states, people were fined if they do not obey rules. By late April, around 300 million people were in lockdown in nations of Europe, while around 200 million people were in lockdown in Latin America. Nearly 300 million people or about 90 percent of population of United States were in lockdown and around1.3 billion people have been under lockdown in India.
Due to lockdown, people were not able to move out of their homes and even their rooms to maintain social distancing. Schools, colleges, transportation facilities, offices, etc were suspended and the person was liable to pay fine if he/she breaks the lockdown rules.
Last few months have been unexpected. The situation has taken a major toll on the mental health of the citizens. With the series of lockdown, anxiety, job cuts, health scares, and the overall volatile environment, stress level was at an all time high.
Copious amounts of stress can lead to depression. With the lockdowns and lifestyles changed, it is seen that 43 percent of Indians are suffering from depression and are learning to cope up with it. Those feeling depressed complained of having little interest or pleasure in doing things, feeling hopeless, dealing with erratic sleep cycles, poor eating habits, low levels of energy, low self esteem, having trouble in concentrating, being restless and having thoughts of self harms.
According to WHO, depression cases are increasing fast in India with over 5 Crore people suffering from the disorder, the highest in Southeast Asia and Western Pacific region, which includes China.
The Covid-19 pandemic has stirred death, destruction and upheaval across the world. Not to forget the emotional and mental status Covid-19 has caused to millions of people, especially those living with anxiety disorders.
A lot of people brush it off saying that anxiety is nothing but just over thinking. As a result many people continue to suffer silently without any help. How does one can explain the pain, misery, uncertainty, fear or feeling of helplessness and hopelessness that one is going through in these testing times?
In India, people avoid depression and anxiety which results in bigger issues like suicides and violence acts.
Indian Psychiatry Society says that the number of mental health cases including depression has risen 20 per cent since the lockdown was first announced. Many doctors and counselor feel that the Central and State government should treat mental health as public health crisis.
Under Lockdown, there has been a rise in unemployment along with the grave distruption in normal people’s life across the country.
According to a new study, about 43 percent Indians are suffering from Depression. Conducted by GOQ, a smart tech enabled preventive healthcare platform, they surveyed over 10.000 Indians to understand how they are coping with the new normal. According to the study, 26 per cent respondents were suffering from mild depression, 11 per cent were feeling moderate depression and about 6 per cent were facing severe depression symptoms.
Psychosocial impact of Covid-19 lockdown on mental well being has been seen in many people. Lack of experience in handling the crisis situation, excessive usage of social media as well as inherent restlessness induced by being house bound can possibly contribute to the significant high level of depression.
The outbreak of corona virus has led to nationwide lockdown has given rise to many health issues. A sense of confinement that has settled in people’s minds is giving rise to issues of mental illness. India witnessed a steep rise in Suicide cases, domestic violence cases, divorce cases, child abuse and sexual harassment cases during lockdown. The main reason behind it is depression and anxiety.
The Suicide case of Sushant Singh Rajput, an Actor is a well known case across the globe. He committed suicide on 14 June, 2020. The actor was reportedly suffering from depression. Depression is always connected to suicide. Many said that it was murder and many said it was suicide. Different theories were given by different people but the very first finding was that he was suffering from depression because he lost several projects and living alone in hi Mumbai flat. Medicines and prescriptions were found in his room. This was reportedly due to lockdown, the feeling of being alone, he was not able to go and meet his father and sisters. He attempted suicide because he was suffering from crises due to problems that arose due to lockdown.
Bhojpuri actor Anupama Pathak was found dead at her home. A day earlier, she posted a video that she was cheated and unable to trust anyone. The suicide note was found near her body. And the outcome was that she was suffering from depression.
In state capital Ranchi, 55 people committed suicide from April 1 to June 25. Psychiatrists say that economic slowdown, has caused severe problems of unemployment and families has caused depression.
A 26-year-old journalist in Delhi said that the last couple of months got so difficult for his mental health that he had to take leave from work. “First, it was the Delhi riots. And now this,” he said. Last week, his organisation asked him to quit.
There are many other examples which show the rise in depression cases amid lockdown.
Lockdown has caused a lot of destruction in the lifestyles and routine of people. It has lead to rise in depression cases which terms it in the suicidal cases as well as violence cases.
The lockdown may now be ending but the impact of it on life of people will be long lasting. In the coming time India will experience a massive health crisis due to unemployment, alcohol abuse, economic hardship and domestic violence. While this will affect most of the population it will disproportionately affect the poor, most vulnerable and marginalized groups. A real need is to build community based capacity in order to handle local issues after the acute phase of epidemic.
The stakes could not be higher. If not appropriately addressed, the mental health consequences for a generation of children and young people could far surpass the immediate health and economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic, leaving long-term social and economic consequences in its wake.
NAME– AYUSHI MITTAL
YEAR– 5TH YEAR
COLLEGE-VIVEKANANDA INSTITUTE OF PROFESSIONAL STUDIES.