by Jack Wright
No doubt the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting people’s mental health. Particularly hard hit, according to the World Health Organization, are health and other frontline workers, people living alone, students, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions.
To make a bad situation worse, services for mental, neurological and substance-use disorders have all but come to a standstill.
But there are no specific groups that get targeted by the malaise. Practically all of us are, to a certain degree, one way or another. Fear, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, and anger are our constant companions early on in the pandemic, and at this late stage. AND beyond.
After the restrictions have been lifted gradually, parents had had to convince their children, who needed to resume some kind of a normal life for healthy mental and physical development, to go out and play. The kids wouldn’t leave their homes because “the monster is out there waiting to pounce on us.”
The teenagers and young adults, who had refused to wear face masks at the height of the pandemic, mostly did it defiantly. An act of rebellion against the constraints on their freedom of movement brought about by a pandemic that wasn’t of their own making.
The middle-aged and the old folk, who, under certain conditions, may no longer wear masks outdoors like most others, keep their faces covered doggedly with the good old masks, out of defiance. And, of course, because of lingering fear.
And then there are the negationists who, against all scientific evidence, claim the virus is imaginary, a Bill Gates ingenious invention to rule the world.
Our mental health has been played havoc with.
Now comes the World Health Organization telling us that “there is cause for optimism. During the World Health Assembly in May 2021, governments from around the world recognized the need to scale up quality mental health services at all levels. And some countries have found new ways of providing mental health care to their populations.”
WHO announced that “during this year’s World Mental Health Day [10 October] campaign, we will showcase the efforts made in some of these countries and encourage you to highlight positive stories as part of your own activities, as an inspiration to others.”
Really? Is that all? That easy? Or just another WHO-hum?
Featured image by Issues Issues from Pixabay
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