|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 5 | Page : 7-8
Being positive about COVID-19
Department of Psychiatry (IMH), PGIMS, Pt BD Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak, Haryana, India
|Date of Submission||16-Sep-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||16-Sep-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||02-Oct-2020|
Dr Hitesh Khurana
Department of Psychiatry (IMH), PGIMS, Pt BD Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak - 124 001, Haryana
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Khurana H. Being positive about COVID-19. Indian J Soc Psychiatry 2020;36, Suppl S1:7-8
With the first case detection on December 31, 2019, and it achieving pandemic status in a short period on March 11, 2020, COVID-19 took us all by surprise and shock. The news and articles are full of stories about positive cases, high mortality, and poor initial recovery rates, which created anxiety and uncertainty among people. Multiple reasons (including scientific, economic, and political) can be identified for such reporting. In this scenario, the health professionals are still working hard to manage the pandemic. However, somehow, it appears that the focus on health promotion through healthy lifestyles had been reasonably limited.
The efforts to curb the spread of the virus through lockdown and hygiene had some positive “side” effects on our mental and social health. Across the world, lockdown promoted a decrease in pollution and a long awaited repair of the ozone layer. The lockdown guidelines issued from time to time, as I see, were adhered to by the public, but more due to COVID-19-related anxiety than enthusiasm to promote health. Educating the public about these potential positive outcomes could have motivated people to efficiently follow both the lockdown and hygiene guidelines. The State Government of Kerala was among the few to list improving quality of life and protection of environment among the aims of its lockdown protocols. Closure of industries had affected economy adversely. The daily wagers were the worst affected. Many NGOs came forward to help them with food, shelter, and transport. Cooperation and family ties also improved as many working class couples, parents, and children had time to spend together at home. Both men and women dared to overcome gender stereotypes to manage household chores. Interestingly, all such activities were not suggested in most of the guidelines nor expected outcomes were mentioned when lockdown was imposed.
Patient care was also among the worst hit by lockdown measures including transport restrictions, converting general hospitals into COVID-19 treatment facilities. The telemedicine guidelines from the Indian Medical Council are expected to have a long-term benefit to the patients who otherwise too find it difficult to reach hospitals, especially for psychiatric services.
Viral epidemics may occur with more frequency than before. Lockdown and other restrictions practiced during this pandemic may be required in the future also. One of the biggest learning from the COVID-19 pandemic will be to promote positive health in the guidelines for the public during future pandemics and related situations (e.g., epidemics and disasters). Besides environmental healing, this would also help people to stay 'positive and happy' and cope better with stress in such situations.
| References|| |
Greer SL, King EJ, da Fonseca EM, Peralta-Santos A. The comparative politics of COVID-19: The need to understand government responses. Glob Public Health 2020;15:1413-6.