The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative influence on people all across the world. The government imposed several restrictions such as lockdowns & travel restrictions. They provided medical services at the doorstep to prevent the transmission of viruses. Quarantine or home isolation was a major part of the pandemic for societies. This quarantine policy extended for a long duration which caused a disturbance in economic and social life, food security, public health, education and employment. It also disturbed labour conduct, particularly workers’ health and safety. All the crises have affected the physical as well as mental health of people across the world.
Physical activity is important for healthy life and plays an important role in preventing several diseases 1. People's sedentary sitting time had increased as a result of their home isolation. People all throughout the world had reduced their participation in free-time activities such as walking, jogging, playing, and swimming 2. People were unable to attend the gym, resulting in a decrease in physical activity. Long-term sedentary life negatively affects the quality of life. People's physical condition has deteriorated, and many have experienced a loss of energy throughout this time.
People did not have sufficient access to resources, and their food and sleep quality also declined 3. Several research studies have been carried out to determine the impact of lockdowns on various age groups. A study of teenagers in India found that home isolation had a negative impact on their academics, social connections, and physical activity, leading to an increase in stress levels. Within these studies, gender differences were also observed. Females in the study reported compromised academics as a top worry during the lockdown whereas males were more affected by missed physical activities and the socio-cultural barriers 4. Older age people were more likely to miss their medical checkups thereby influencing their overall health.
A study conducted among Chinese people explains a detrimental psychological influence when people were confined to stay at home. These people were facing anger, boredom, loneliness and also psychological symptoms such as depression, stress, and anxiety 5. Adolescent emotional symptoms have been linked to a variety of major mental health outcomes, including suicide, long-term physical health implications, and significant healthcare costs 6. Due to the economical burden and the emotional stress of losing their near and dear ones, young individuals had faced adverse mental health issues. While young individuals were less prone to severe forms of sickness than adults, they had also encountered mental health issues that are predicted to be more destructive in the long term than the COVID-19 infection itself 7.
In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, older persons as a group, may be considered particularly vulnerable due to physical differences that enhance the chance of negative health outcomes. However, individuals of this age are not equally vulnerable. Some had also observed psychological effects, such as feelings of melancholy, depression, and loneliness, and were mentioned more frequently by those who lived alone 8. In all age groups, problematic social media use and attachment insecurity were two potential risk factors for these psychopathological disorders 9.
Almost all studies found that the pandemic has had a significant influence on many elements of people's lives. This pandemic had infected people to a large extent, increased mortality and adversely impacted physical and mental health. For the current COVID-19 crisis, we call for the development of a real-time information sharing system and mental health awareness which will enhance the ability of public health bodies and related authorities to respond to and understand the social dynamics of information and misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak and control measures. It will also lessen public panic and counterproductive responses that are out of proportion to problem 10.
- doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hcab015