As corona curfew due to second wave of the pandemic completes a month, it has already taken a great toll on governments, health care systems, economies, organizations, and people across the India. Jammu and Kashmir is no exception.
As people have been barred from normal social interaction and outdoor activities, it has also severely affected mental health of the people due to isolation, restriction on movement, social gathering and idleness.
Children and old aged who stand silently affected by pandemic are badly impacted as far their mental health is concerned.
After the first wave peaked in September last, it took about six months for cases to rise from about 6 million to cross 12 million by the end of March in India.
Now, India already has the world’s third largest death count. Only the United States, which has recorded over 5.84 lakh deaths, and Brazil, which has seen 4.48 lakh deaths, have a higher death count. India now accounts for 16% of the global confirmed cases, and 9% of global deaths.
This situation amid constant struggle for many to find hospital beds, medicines and oxygen are affecting the mental well-being of people, as per several mental health experts. The mental health situation, as per them is much worse now than last year during the first Covid-19 wave.
The present wave has been much more relentless and took many by surprise because it came just as people felt things were returning to normal. A number of people also feel culpable for not being able to support those around them adequately while a large population is yet to recover from fiscal and personal losses of last year. Together, these factors are gravely impacting people’s confidence, and resilience to cope with situations. The present round of the pandemic also impacted the vulnerable sections more since they have much less access to mental health professionals.
The fear of catching infection and the later repercussions has also taken maximum toll on sound minds.
As put by an expert, it is essential to overcome the fear psychosis with a positive mind that “the pandemic phase is temporary and this shall pass too.”
The situation also demands pro-activeness and applying of mind on how to deal with the crisis. Equally, medical professionals must find innovative ways of offering care and therapy at this juncture. At the same time, organizations, and families must come together to offer solidarity and support those who require immediate attention. Parents need to engage their wards in various hobbies and creativity. Younger members in a family need share valuable time with elders.