The Covid-19 Pandemic has brought in its wake a whole new way of life, while we struggle with old habits, new ones are being practiced, be it wearing masks, maintaining social distance or being wary of going in crowded settings or touching a package delivered at our door step. Many of us are waiting for situation to revert back to pre-pandemic era, but most of us have been touched by its repercussions I one way or the other. Therefore, its won’t be an exaggeration if we say that world will be a different place post pandemic.
Dr. Jyoti Kapoor a psychiatrist believes that there is a significant issue during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has been the need for high level of alertness and necessary precautionary behaviour required to protect us from the disease.
How the pandemic induced a constant state of anxiety
When any behaviour is repeated over and over again, it becomes a habit, but if it’s associated with a certain strong emotion, that emotion also becomes a reflex reaction. We are all in an anxious state now, and this state of anxiety has been persisting at varying intensity levels for past 1 and a half years. During the second wave, we are facing far more cases of infection and death, so the nervous system is flooded with stress chemicals, the impact is likely to stay in the form of development of anxiety disorders even after the misfortune passes.
The stress is overwhelming for certain professionals like health care workers and journalists who are seeing the disaster unfold with their own eyes and already symptoms of emotional exhaustion and burnout are visible. In general population, vulnerable people have developed clinically significant episodes of panic, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders which require medical and psychological management.
The impact on developing personalities of young kids
The younger generation is unable to live according to their natural instinct, unable to physically connect with their peers, unable to follow a disciplined routine that includes sleep wake rhythm, eating patterns and going to school, and indulging too much in online activities to keep themselves entertained, all of which has far reaching effects on the developing personalities. Many children and young adults are losing their grandparents, parents and near and dear ones due to the disease and inadequate health care facilities which has escalated their own fear about socialising as well has faith in healthcare and governing bodies has been jolted.
A significant rise in phobias about medical diseases and insecurities
All this has the potential to build personalities who are likely to be anxious in social settings, may prefer virtual world to real world, may have significant phobias about medical diseases and insecurity about treatment options. It is therefore imperative to focus on the fears and dilemmas of younger generation by instilling positivity and a sense of security.
The impressions of doom on the young psyche need to be replaced with positive philosophy of tolerance and resilience, how there are so many good Samaritans who are saving lives, inspiring others, maintain faith and becoming stronger with adversity. We need to focus on the opportunity a challenge presents so that we can learn our lessons and change for the better!