Via Arjan Toor
COVID-19 has struck us in ways that nobody could ever have expected, and the general wellbeing of people has suffered.
With the launch of Pfizer’s vaccine, while there is light at the end of the tunnel, we still face tough times ahead.
The fact that we are unable to monitor what happens in our immediate setting, such as financial issues, caring for children or elderly parents, combined with the pressures that impact our indirect environment, such as larger social and political problems, are all main factors that cause us to be depressed, less resilient, and feel that we can not cope with them. In recent months, more than three-quarters (76 percent) of Britons have reported feeling depressed on a regular basis due to the combination of these variables, which has a long-term negative effect on our wellbeing.
For all, it is important to take a moment to pause and reflect on the direct and indirect environmental factors we face and recognise the problems that affect our own health and resilience. The good news, however, is that our resilience and overall wellbeing will strengthen by understanding these challenges and working on ways to improve our coping mechanisms.
The strategy that many policymakers around the world have taken in dealing with the pandemic is to “flatten the curve” to get the R-count down below one. Some of the most intensive steps we have seen are national lockdowns, restricting how many times you can leave your house every day, banning face-to-face meetings, and closing schools and colleges.
As successful as these steps have been in fighting the virus, they have had consequences for our fundamental social and economic rights. Economic gaps have been dramatically revealed by the pandemic, particularly in countries with minimal social safety nets, and the most disadvantaged members of society in all countries are those dealing with the real impact of the crisis.
One of the most detrimental reactions to Covid-19 was, arguably, to make it more difficult for individuals to lead healthy and active lives.
Closing parks, open fields, gyms, and restricting all amateur outdoor activities has led to a decrease in physical activity of 13 percent across all age groups. It is no secret that regular exercise brings a variety of physical benefits – keeping a healthy weight, increasing energy levels, and improving the quality of sleep – but it also brings beneficial benefits to mental health and can help relieve stress, enhance memory, and improve the general well-being of an individual.
During the pandemic, the social isolation many of us endured had significant psychological and social consequences.
Alcohol has become a coping mechanism for many and, as a result of Covid-19, economic deprivation, alcoholism, and loneliness are behind the increase in suicides. Around 55 percent of adults say that during the pandemic, their mental health has deteriorated because of worry and tension, which should be a major concern for society as a whole.
To date, the acts of governments have been based on the strategy of survival before a vaccine exists. Therefore, policymakers have not taken the opportunity to develop a holistic health policy. By spending more in health promotion and disease prevention to enable people to remain healthy, and as a step to combat Covid-19 head-on, it is now time for them to act urgently.
Steps must be taken to help us develop systemic resilience in the longer term to cope with the virus. Improved preventive initiatives, such as the implementation of a sugar tax to reduce the incidence of obesity, will encourage a change in mentality and better allow individuals to use their overall wellbeing to develop resistance to the physical and mental effects of infection.
If Covid-19 has taught us something, it is important to take care of your physical and emotional well-being through exercise, healthy eating, and setting goals to remain in good health, with a reasonable amount of mental sustainability.
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