Lockdown - mental strain and loneliness affects many

Leo Olivero

Need for study on effects?

There are some 2.6 billion people around the world in some kind of lockdown. Leading experts are convinced that globally, we are conducting the largest psychological experiment ever. It’s where the same experts, also predict, it will result in a secondary epidemic of burnouts and stress-related absenteeism in the latter half of 2020!

This, is not guess work, or me attempting to cause some panic with wild attempts to predict bad things happening in the future. We’ve had quite a bit of that already, from our own local expert perspective!

It’s not me, either, predicting or guessing anything. But already, out there abroad, there is a good idea of the effects of the present lockdown.

This year in February, before European countries implemented various forms of lockdowns, Lancet (the weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal) published 24 studies documenting the psychological impact of quarantine (“restriction of movement of people who have potentially been exposed to a contagious disease”). These findings potentially offered a glimpse of what can be expected in hundreds of millions of households around the world.

A short preview of the studies is perhaps unsurprising. The study notes that people who are quarantined (or in lockdown) are very likely to develop a wide range of symptoms of psychological stress and disorder, including: low mood, insomnia, stress, anxiety, anger, irritability, emotional exhaustion, depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Low mood and irritability specifically stand out as being very common!

There is no doubt, that these are strange times. What is generally prescribed for the elderly is social interaction for their emotional wellbeing. Now, they’ve been told the opposite: to physically distance themselves, even from their grandchildren. It’s a fact, that as you grow older, a routine becomes important and any disruption leads to anxiety. A lot of over 70’s find comfort from their daily walks and chatting with friends. This, is all but lost with the current lockdown. The feeling of loneliness with some people must obviously have its own effect. Hopefully, the situation will soon improve!

At this point, I would like urge the authorities to embark on an across-the-board study of the local effects of the lockdown… this is important information to have recorded!

Personally, I know of people, who for a variety of different reasons, have been affected by the present lockdown. This is not to say the lockdown was not necessary, because we all know that it was and probably still is. But it has affected people, who suffer from their own conditions, be it because of any physiological reason, or possibly, relating to substances, alcohol, drugs or any other issue. People, who may never have come forward in the past for any medical reason, or for support, or help for their condition. Now…find themselves and also their families… in a bad place!