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Citizen Voices Coronavirus Health

Covid-19’s Impact On Our Minds: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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Deadliest of all pandemics to which humans have ever fallen prey, the Coronavirus has devastated trillions of lives. Who would have imagined 2020 bringing us world health-emergency while we were greeting each other, wishing a happy New Year? Who would have imagined that the world would sit bound to their houses for six consecutive months this year? Life, being a trial, is unpredictable.

The Coronavirus brought Corona-vacations, a blessing in disguise for workaholic world of the 21st century. Even amid the ever increasing death toll caused by COVID-19, people have started releasing their anxieties. Carrying out their hobbies, acquiring new life-skills online, and engaging themselves in performing meditations and multiple yoga-chakras, people seem busy in turning their time productive. Moreover, a great deal of online courses offered by the world’s top-ranked universities like Oxford, Harvard and Cambridge are a an initiative worth acknowledging – providing free online education in the time of the Corona crisis. To support people staying home and relaxed during the quarantine, numerous applications and services are being offered to people, free of cost. In addition to this, people are prioritizing their activity-list and auditing their media diet in order to remain away from unnecessarily depressing information. Above all, these vacations have taught people to value time, making every single minute count, capture and witness their stories of steadfastness, motivated enough to live.

This lethal pandemic has given people hope of seeing the world a place better than ever. People are reconnecting with old acquaintances out of the fear of death. Many are concluding that a better approach towards life now is to become mindful of the present moment and finding bliss in what one is bestowed with. A message of promoting unity, spreading love, respecting life and putting aside all differences of race, colour, ethnicity, gender and social-status, has propelled people to realize the human’s existence as the only significant thing which matters. Such large swathes of humanity would never have come on a single page had the Coronavirus not spread in the world.

However, the monotonous period of self-isolation and social-distancing has exposed humans to numerous psycho-social disorders. In order to eradicate the element of boredom from their routines, people tend to use social networking sites, where unauthentic information threaten them. These lethal acts of misinformation invade people’s senses, disturb their sleep-cycles and make them prone to panic-attacks and depression. Cyberspace, meanwhile, is emerging as hub of criminal activities.

The impact is also quite visible on the individual’s offline life. Stuck in homes, people are practicing unhealthy eating habits, which again is clear symptom of their exposure to Anorexia-nervosa and is major reason leading them towards weight unbalancing. There are observations of frightened behavioral cues across borders.

According to the recent reports of the Pakistan Psychological Association, Islamabad, many cases suggesting a drastic increase in domestic violence and child abuse have been reported. The excessive promotion of adopting safety-measures against the Coronavirus on national broadcasting channels has pushed people to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), as people are becoming manic to use sanitizers and washing hands repeatedly to save their lives. COVID-19’s outbreak has made some people self-centered, mean and aggressive, which is a root-cause of another psychological impairment called Corona-anxiety. Medical scientists recommend to take care of the body during this period – worrying that cardiac arrests, shooting blood-pressures and increasing blood sugar-level due to corona might endanger lives.

It is now ever more important to prevent the Coronavirus pandemic from becoming a psychological pandemic.

 

Amima Rafique is a student of Applied Psychology at Punjab University, Lahore

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