Psychosocial Pathology of the Pandemic

The COVID-19 is a ‘unique threat' to the world. It is the cause of ‘panic, stress, and the potential for hysteria.’ It threats ‘to manifest as sheer anxiety and panic : worry about getting an infection, worry about loved one getting ill.’ The ‘absence of a definite treatment for Coronavirus easily exacerbate anxiety.’ ‘The lives of infected individuals, family and friends, and the society are at stake.’ It has affected the world economy , social and cultural aspects of the entire world. It is not only affecting the humanity during the pandemic. The post pandemic effect would be more dangerous and long standing. There would be a radical change throughout the world. It would take long time to recover or a new relation in all respects (micro and macro level) would be rebuilt in a fascinated way.

Anyway, psychosocial aspect of the individual and society as well as authority figures would be the greatest challenge because the pandemic ‘affects individuals and society on many levels causing disruptions. Anxiety and xenophobia are two aspects of the societal impact of the pandemic.’ Focus has given mainly on the prevention, management and limiting the spread of the Coronavirus infections. A little attention is on mental health. Social distancing and quarantine are causing cognitive distress, anxiety, and fear in the public. Early identification, and separation of suspected cases, tracing of contacts, and isolation are the cause of serious mental health. Family affected by the infections, neighbors, relatives and the locality are being avoided and socially isolated even after being treated and declared free of the disease. The situation is as ‘the number of people whose mental health is affected tends to be greater than the number of people affected by the infection.’ It has been noted that comorbidities like depress, panic attack, anxiety, psychomotor, excitement, suicidality, delirium, and psychotic symptoms are taking largely place.

There is absence of clear and consisted information. For example, we can note that the bulletin of West Bengal is doubtful because data provided by the government are suffering from clarity. It is providing complicated statistical information like COVID-19 death and comorbid death, etc. Even Bengali news live channel is usually covering and presenting the world and national data on infections, death, and recovery. But it is not providing the same of the state of West Bengal. It is a danger for the future of this state, and people of this state is not so serious. As a result of this, a long-term infection would be seen here.

We should keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic has badly impacted on the public domain like family organization, closing of schools, public places, changes in work routines, isolation and so forth. These are leading to feelings of helplessness and abandonment. There is need of sincere efforts for taking care of mental health of the people like psychological first aid. Lastly, ‘it can heighten insecurity due to the economic and social repercussions of this large-scale tragedy. From every corner, there is need of early attention and sincere care for the mental health.


More by :  Dr. Harasankar Adhikari

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