By Nsunjo Erica
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that saw the closure of economies in different countries which resulted in an economic downturn has impacted many people’s mental health according to scientists.
Reports point at measures taken to combat the spread of this COVID-19 virus, such as social distancing, isolation, business closure leading to greater mental disturbance and potential financial distress to business owners.
According to scientists, the isolation during this COVID-19 pandemic has increased to the rate of psychological trauma amongst people worldwide. People no longer have the liberty to freely meet and interact with others, many have become loners and others have committed suicide.
Church closure is another major factor that is affecting people’s mental health during this COVID-19 period. Reports indicate that many people with stress used to turn to their religious leaders for guidance. However, with the closure of places of worship, people are kept in isolation which is damaging their mental health.
COVID-19 has impacted different sections of society, with the most affected being marginalized communities (slum dwellers, refugees, and daily wagers). These people used to live from hand to mouth, the closure of their businesses has increased poverty levels that have pushed many into depression.
According to current reports, those whose life solely depends on hand-to-mouth have been affected psychologically, first by fear of what shall be eaten tomorrow then stress due to economic downturn by Covid-19.
COVID-19 reports also indicate that during these times, Migrants and refugees who happen to have a high prevalence of psychiatric illnesses are now suffering from depression due to the poor quality of life like discrimination, stigma, and exclusion during these times.
Mental health issues during the pandemic are escalated the increased shortage of food. A person’s mental stability also depends on the ability to feed the body properly. However, during COVID-19 distribution of food to support the poor and vulnerable in major urban areas became almost close to impossible.
Many people are expected to fall back to poverty as this pandemic continues to bite. Interestingly, poverty is one of the major contributors of ill mental health since it causes stress that throws people into depression and suicide becomes inevitable.