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Psychological Impact in COVID-19 situation

Sumaiya Sultana:

‘Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with there is.’

Ernest Hemingway

This is the situation right now all over the world and we have to fight with COVID-19 with all the strength we have. COVID-19 pandemic is the most horrific issue that has literally changed the whole world. Our most beloved mother earth is in fierce face that we have never seen before. The fear of COVD-19 has surpassed all other contaminated diseases like Ebola, Swine flu, Mad cow, etc. Probably nobody could realize the destructive nature of COVID-19 till it shows its horrific impact on mankind.

COVID-19 has severe impact on all issues across the globe like politics, economy, infrastructure, daily livelihood, survival mode of humanity and many other as well as psychological issues. The main concern of this article is the horrific psychological issues of COVID-19 that we never thought of. It is causing fear, uncertainty, stress, panic and major changes in humanbehaviour. We are even going to see our potential power and the belief that is called ‘survival of the fittest’. COVID-19 has made us utterly helpless. We are even going to loose our pride and power gradually in front of this pandemic.

This pandemic has negative impact on our mental health, on our children, elderly people, middle-aged members of our society as well as youth. For children, there is a lack of consciousness, they are not fully aware of. Staying at home in lockdown, not meeting and playing with friends can make them depressed, angry, and even sometimes argumentative. This will also cause a psychological pressure on their parents. The ultimate solution to this problem, might be to make them busy by story reading and telling, indoor games, interacting with grandparents over social media platforms, paintings, gardening, helping in household chores would occupy them. On the other hand, parents can pass a quality time.  Elderly people are mostly prone to COVID-19. In such scenario, family members should act, call, interact, motivate them through social media platforms or direct phone call. Let them know that how much love and care they deserve. They may be engaged with fancy works like gardening, indoor soft physical activities to boost up their mind and body immune mechanism. In no way, do not let them feel alone or abandoned.

Here comes concern on middle-aged community, the earning members of the family. They have to face the most difficult part of the pandemic. To continue the daily family expenditures, the responsibilities-such issues may collapse them. The fear of losing job, the fear of not earning enough money, the future uncertainties have potential psychological impact on body, mind and soul.  Mostly, this age group generation has to take care of kids, wife, elderly parents, to some extends relatives. They have to think in bed at night how they are going to earn bread and butter for the whole family in the next morning. In the context of Bangladesh, there are many day to day earning people, who may even think of committing suicide as they are unable to arrange basic daily needs for their families-how pathetic this could be! Henceforth, financial challenge remains the prime source of psychological problems. In such situation, government should initiate tailor made major social safety steps to promote confidence to encounter the psychological pressure of this class of people. For example, Canadian government initiatives have already set benchmark for many policy makers across the globe. Here in Bangladesh, our Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already taken many brilliant and time bound initiatives to tackle the situation of COVID-19 to help out our valued citizens. It is worthy to mention that our meritorious doctor and hardworking police have been doing praiseworthy job, risking their lives. However, we must have to make sure that these financial inclusive initiatives and confidence building measures are rightly addressed to those who are really in need.

In addition, the discourse of social distance and psychological plethora should be considered pragmatically. We should not be inhuman, we must call each other, we must connect each other, we must greet and take care, we must communicate on health guidelines on COVID-19, social distancing does not at all mean disconnecting from near and dear one, rather it can strengthen our bond and that should prevail as our ultimate motto. This is perfect time to enhance our bonding and bridging in between have’s and haven’ts. Living under same roof round the clock, can be boring, even may increase the rate of abuse, harassment and domestic violence. Managing this crisis is also a beauty of life. As Dr. Hans HerniP.Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, mentioned ‘we must try to focus on to the respond most effectively to this crisis as individuals, family members andcommunity members, friends and colleagues’. We know every cloud has its own silver lining. This is our humanity. This is our mankind’s exclusivity.

To supplement this humanitarian aspect, we already know, many NPOs, NGOs, and Charity Organizations are coming out to help people without any personal profit. For a glaring instance, Better Bangladesh Foundation, a NPO, has keenly extended its help to so many rootless and poor citizens for the sake of serving our unique humanity. In this dare situation, sympathy is not enough, we should internalize and excercise empathy. In the bottom line, these lockdown, confinement, social distancing arepsychologically so painful, but surely we shall surpass COVID-19 with all our strengths and optimism and of course with the help of Almighty. To win over COVID-19, please be patient, hold each other in heart with the classical chorus ‘we shall overcome’, let not COVID-19 defeat us.

  • The Writer Sumaiya Sultana has been serving as Chief Coordinator, Media and Communications with Better Bangladesh Foundation and can be reached at: ssseng20@gmail.com

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