The year is 2020 – technology has changed the face of the world, cars that fly, machines that travel in time, robots that serve – the life of man as we knew has changed forever. India has emerged as a superpower, the GDP has never been higher; climate change seems a thing of the past now; the world is saved, man is saved. Or maybe not.
The new year’s wishes didn’t come alone this year, following rumors of WW3 what followed was news of bushfires in Australia and, floods in Jakarta. This year hasn’t particularly been kind to us, and although started in 2019, the February of this year saw a mass outbreak of the now feared- COVID ’19. The world realized it’s real and cannot be wished away.
Started in China, the coronavirus (nCoV-19), believed to be far worse than the seasonal flu and SARS by researches, is said to be the worst outbreak since the Spanish Flu, which caused 500 lakh deaths, with 200 lakh deaths in India alone. The global pandemic can be seen as the culmination of the stressors this year has put us in.
The information regarding the virus remains obscured in misconceptions and has resulted in mass panic, xenophobia, and a racist outlook towards our peers. In the recent past, there has been a growing consciousness toward leaving a better, more sustainable future for our posterity. No one’s stopping, however, to think about the kind of people are we leaving behind. The cumulative impact of the aforementioned happenings from around the world on today’s youth isn’t too far fetched. It does take a toll on our mental health. One such drastic case was observed in the Safdarjung hospital of the national capital, where a man suspected to be infected with the virus has committed suicide by jumping off the seventh floor of the building
on Wednesday, soon after he was admitted to the facility by airport authorities. The 35-year-old was brought only as a suspect and was immediately put in the isolation ward at 9 pm.
According to a police statement, “He committed suicide by jumping off the Super Speciality Block’s building.” It was revealed that the man is from Punjab and was staying in Sydney for the past year.” The reason behind his drastic action remains up for speculation.
Amidst all the panic, people suspected to have been infected are afraid, unsure, and in a state of panic. Contrary to the world where the patients are turning to the hospitals to battle the pandemic, in India the situation is quite opposite, with incidents of patients fleeing isolation wards owing to social stigma fears, and due to the rambling state the health care system finds itself in. This can lead to unnecessary panic and the spread of the deadly disease even more. The unfortunate incident of Tanveer Singh in Delhi explains how people are scared and fearful of their survival.
It becomes pertinent, therefore, to draw the line between the news that’s necessary for staying safe and well informed, and between the ones that can get too overwhelming. At confusing times like these, it’s tremendously comforting to see some good news from around the world. The video from Italy of people trying to keep the community spirit alive by singing their folklore or the news of a 103-year-old woman who made a dramatic recovery after just six days acts as refreshing pieces and should be shared along as much. These are tiring times, we need each other more than ever. Promote love, not hate. Check on your loved ones. And if you need
support or know someone who does, please reach out to us.
Rawat, M (2020). Coronavirus outbreak and mental health. How we can help people in quarantine. Retrieved from: https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/coronavirus-outbreak-covid19-cases-quarantine-mental-health-1652639-2020-03-05
Ross, C (2020). How COVID-19 may impact mental health. Retrieved from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-future-brain/202003/how-covid-19-may-impact-mental-health
Brooks, S. K., Webster, R. K., Smith, L. E., Woodland, L., Wessely, S., Greenberg, N., & Rubin, G. J. (2020).The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence. The Lancet.