The novel coronavirus has disrupted the lives of numerous communities worldwide and has
radically impacted health care systems globally. Apart from the obvious threat to the physical
health of individuals throughout the pandemic, one important aspect that has been the subject of recent studies is the toll the virus and the mandatory safety protocol guidelines issued during the pandemic have taken on mental health of individuals across the globe. This manuscript aims to document the impact of the coronavirus on mental health, the factors that have contributed to the decline of mental health among young people throughout the pandemic, and the effective response methods from communities regarding mental health. During and after a pandemic of an infectious illness, the psychological reactions of the affected population are crucial in determining both the disease’s propagation and the incidence of emotional anguish and social instability. Psychological variables are well recognized to have a role in public health initiatives (such as vaccination), compliance to proposed quarantine or
isolation plans, compliance with a treatment modality if available, and how individuals cope with
the possibility of infection and the resulting losses (Cullen et al., 2020). Such factors are direct
determinants of the duration of the pandemic, and a failure to recognize the mental status of the
population, or to identify factors that may deteriorate the mental health of the population may
lead to an indefinite prolongation of the pandemic as well as worsen the clinical outcomes in
those who are affected.
The mental health effects of coronavirus can arise because of a variety of underlying factors
since the pandemic has affected all spheres of life – ranging from health to economics. Studies
centered on the topic have reported increasing rates of anxiety, which have been attributed to the
panic and chaos surrounding the virus, fear of contracting the virus, fear of interacting with other
people, thanatophobia, fear of isolation and stigmatization, and a fear of being deprived of
essential items such as food, among others (Lee, 2020; Kumar & Nayar, 2021). The World
Health Organization has (WHO) also voiced its concerns about the mental health and psychosocial effects of the pandemic (World Health Organization, 2020d). It is hypothesized that
new guidelines and measures such as self-isolation and quarantine have had an impact on the
normal activities, routines, and livelihoods of the affected population, perhaps leading to an
increase in loneliness, anxiety, despair, sleeplessness, hazardous alcohol and drug use, self-harm,
and suicidal conduct (World Health Organization, 2020c).
People have been reported to stockpile critical commodities in several states owing to anxiety,
resulting in shortages. Millions of people have lost their employment because of the recession.
People working in the informal and unorganized sectors are the worst impacted, as they struggle
for food, housing, and a living, leading to depression, suicide, and self-harm. The lockout might
be a crucial approach for breaking the transmission chain. However, it has been documented to
result in boredom and monotony among office workers and youngsters. Children who are forced
to stay home in many houses become restless and, in some circumstances, aggressive (Kumar &
Nayar, 2021). In addition, in the event of a caretaker or the child getting infected, children have
been reported to be pushed into a state of crisis when they are separated from their caretakers,
which may raise the risk of psychiatric illnesses (Liu et al., 2020). Children who were isolated or
quarantined during pandemic illnesses were shown to be more prone to suffer acute stress
disorder, adjustment problems, and sorrow, according to Sprang and Silman (2013). The clinical
criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder were satisfied by 30% of the youngsters who were
separated or confined according to their study.
Another issue is the emotional and psychological wellness of healthcare workers. Healthcare
workers operate in frightened, stressful, resource-constrained environments where they are
constantly at risk of becoming exposed and infected. In such a situation, the mental health and
psychosocial well-being of healthcare workers are just as essential as treating the health of the
infected population. The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a thirty-one-point plan
to address these issues. Guidelines to protect the mental health of people of all ages who are
infected with COVID-19, with a specific focus on children, women, and service providers, are
among them (Kumar & Nayar, 2021).
There are a variety of internet tools that might assist in controlling and coping with the stress
caused by the epidemic. It is critical that individuals look for themselves, their families, and their
friends. Assisting others in coping with their stress strengthens the community. Nonetheless, the
absence of mental health specialists, practitioners, counselors, and health facilities where one
may seek such assistance is the greatest difficulty in reducing the COVID 19 pandemic’s mental
health repercussions (Kumar & Nayar, 2021). One plausible approach to work around this is to
establish online mental health communities and platforms where people are encouraged to speak
about their daily problems and issues related to stress, anxiety, and depression. Online video
communication platforms such as Zoom, Facetime, Google Meet, or Skype – which have seen a
surge in popularity during the pandemic – can be effectively utilized for this purpose. In
addition, on a community basis, it might be advised to set up special mental health portals that
enable remote consultation with a certified psychologist or psychiatrist akin to those remote
portals that have been established for other physical medical conditions, including covid. Special
consideration needs to be given to the problems of younger individuals, and the effects that selfisolation,
lockdowns, and quarantines can have on this subset of the population first need to be
recognized, and then dealt with through active community measures such as those mentioned
To conclude, the effects of the coronavirus have not just been limited to the physical
manifestations of the disease or the economic burden it has imposed. Instead, repeated
lockdowns, isolations, and a radical shift in routine daily lives have all contributed to a rising
trend of stress and anxiety among all affected individuals, and younger people in particular. Such
effects can be ameliorated through active community measures such as the implementation of
remote mental health portals, and the establishment of support groups online.
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