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Opinion Opinion: We must prioritize mental health amid COVID-19

Opinion: We must prioritize mental health amid COVID-19

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COVID-19 has brought many unprecedented damages to the world. It has shattered the global economy, killed more than a million people and tormented survivors with serious health ailments. 

The destruction of the pandemic, however, is not over yet. The upsurge in mental health issues as a result is gradually becoming lethal, portending a darker future of psychological health to the public. 

In one survey, an extremely high number of people claim that they are suffering from depression as a result of COVID-19. The number of people who seriously considered suicide during this chaotic period increased by twofold. There was a threefold increase in depression and anxiety in adults compared to 2018 results.

The lack of reliable and consistent COVID-19 safety guidelines from concerned authorities has contributed to the rickety status of mental health. The morbid and unwarranted fear of whether one has contracted COVID-19 has led to severe anxiety and stress. This condition, called “the intolerance of uncertainty”, will keep haunting healthy people until a vaccination is developed. Unfortunately, until then, the pathological fear of COVID-19 will persist. 

Another major source of mental pressure comes from the fear of losing health care. People who contracted the disease are worried COVID-19 will lead to abnormalities that might be tagged as pre-existing conditions, limiting their chances of accessing the best healthcare options. This only adds onto the stress of the world right now, but it is far from the only thing people must contend with.

Reacclimation is also proving to be a problem. As the offices and workplaces gradually re-open, people are compelled to acclimatize to another ‘new normal’ after their sudden drop into a fully virtual office for months at a time. Productivity, as a result, will take a steep decline while people tackle an unfamiliar post-COVID world, filled with mourning and melancholia. 

People who are still mourning the death of their family members and beloved relatives cannot be expected to instantly return to normal. The situation is aggravated by insensitive American workplace policies that barely give employers bereavement leave. Policies like these have even higher consequences for the minority population of the nation, whose conditions are disproportionately worse. 

Losing a job obviously hits harder than having to adapt to the changing environment in an existing job. But people constantly overlook how the grim working conditions affect people like our invaluable doctors and nurses. In an attempt to keep both themselves and their families safe, the pandemic has sucked the working motivation from the healthcare workers dry, leaving trauma and stress in its wake. 

We can never know how others are coping with the horrendous amounts of deaths every day at work. This fundamental lack of communication has left several have killed themselves, only adding to the grimness of the pandemic. and  Although the physiological symptoms and complications of COVID-19 may recede, the psychological scars will still remain. Therefore, concerned authorities must not show indifference or disregard the self-evident impact of the pandemic on psychological health. It is necessary to remove the rubble before we start rebuilding again.

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