COVID 19: The psychological battle

Humanity is being tested as never before, but is also rising to the challenges of the present and future — the environment, technological disruption

We are all living in an unprecedented time. While none of us have experienced the specific details of the challenges before us, we are busy pointing fingers and playing the blame game among countries, while simultaneously battling the global corona virus crisis. Humanity is being tested as never before, but is also rising to the challenges of the present and future — the environment, technological disruption. Time has come now for full-fledged cooperation among countries with populist leadership exacerbating nationalist feelings over the planetary common good.

The contemporary hellish situation caused by the pandemic is estimated to have long-term effects on the global economy, politics, society, culture and one’s way of life, and such effects will have an immense impact on the mental health of almost everyone living through these times.

In such uncertain times the pandemic has increased mental health issues – one of which is paranoia -about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on. The other risk factors could be changes in sleeping or eating patterns, difficulty in sleeping or concentrating, worsening of underlying health problems, worsening of mental health conditions, increased use of tobacco and/or alcohol and other substances.

There are several other mental health issues that are surfacing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and should be taken very seriously because of the long-reaching effects they can have on overall health and everyday functioning of people. To most people, paranoia carries a negative connotation but I believe it is one of the most valuable attributes a leader can have. It is about self-reflection and having the courage, humility, and discipline to constantly ask uncomfortable questions that can potentially poke holes in your strategy and challenge your conventional thinking.

When our world changes unexpectedly, we have to understand that to survive this pandemic the entire planet must reformulate its way of operating. A perfect world is utopian but it can emerge only after a great upheaval that creates both the conditions and the desire for something new. If we accept that, then this tragic virus may force us to mitigate the lack of a sense of community that afflicts the planet. Depending on the decisions that are made in the coming days and months, it may be the midwife of better global and local systems, which will come out stronger to meet the challenges.

In order to reduce panic, timely honest communication is essential to contain fear during a pandemic, but governments have the strenuous job of explaining risk and apprise people on how to act without causing alarm. Modern communication allows people to have a more intimate experience with a threat that's not real. The media role needs to have the propensity to find — and publicize — aberrant behavior, helping to perpetuate a myth that people tend to respond to a crisis with panic when the recovery is good.

Ultimately, the greatest lesson that COVID-19 can teach humanity is that we are all in this together which has given us a glimpse of the good that exists. A shared future is better than a lonely on; a future is possible only if it is shared.

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COVID-19 Mental Health


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