Essay: “Corona Crises”, by Houra Mirhashemi

How far does the new bloodthirsty crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic, bombard our mentality with far-reaching consequences? In December 2019, in China, new cases with pneumonia were reported due to the Coronavirus, and rapidly the virus became a worldwide health threat for everyone regardless of their age (Salari et al. 2). Evidently, the virus is not only a physical disease, as it also causes tremendously powerful mental disorders. The pandemic itself along with the economic recession, quarantine, and social distancing have made a close impact on our mental wellbeing. Some experts regard it as a psychological “tsunami” which is overwhelming and mentally sabotaging (David). In a tracking poll taken in July, it was estimated that around “53% of adults in the US reported that their mental health is negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.” Intrinsically, this is comparatively higher than the “32%” estimated in March and February 2020 (Panchal et al.). Evidently, the Coronavirus outbreak has caused numerous mental issues and has inflicted so much pain and detrimental effects on everyone’s life, stretching from depression, loneliness, and sorrow.   

If the coronavirus outbreak, isolation, and economic issues along with the constant flow of bad news of Coronavirus crises are saddening and forceful for you, you are not alone. In the midst of the current chaos, everyone becomes hopeless and overwhelmed to an extent depending on how they can manage their mental health (Robinson and Smith). Dr. Collin Reiff, an addiction psychiatrist at NYU, discovered that “depression symptoms are three times higher during the COVID-19 lockdown.” This shows that the effects of quarantine on people’s mental health are accelerating tremendously (Drillinger). According to numerous scientists and psychologists, there are many potential factors which contribute to depression and have a direct correlation with this newly prevalent mental disorder. Essentially, isolation can fuel a depressed mood as humans are hardwired to be with their loved ones and demand close contact with them. Thus, being away from not only the close ones and public but also endless months of social distancing kindles depression and makes one feel supportless, hopeless, and helpless. Additionally, stress, fear, and anxiety are conspicuously souring can directly feed depression, stretching from being financially crippled to overeating/gaining weight and losing a loved one, or even your job (Robinson and Smith).

Does the latest motto, “we are in this together”, really take us out of loneliness? Initially, loneliness may not have that much of deep meaning for many of us, however, it can take a detrimental role which ultimately impacts people’s mental health destructively. This new crisis has forced everyone to stay isolated and locked up, regardless of their social status, gender, age, or even financial status. This means that every human being living in this era is potentially prone to face loneliness. A 2018 experiment found that “54% of 20,000 Americans” reported to have major feelings of loneliness. In less than a year, due to COVID-19 outbreak, the percentage hiked up to approximately “61%.” Moreover, in the same study it was discovered that people in the age range of 18-22 are the loneliest generation after coronavirus crises hit worldwide (even by being flooded and submerged in mass media) (Carson).

According to Julianne Holt-Lundstand, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, “It’s very distressing when we are not a part of a group”. The word loneliness often creates images of keeping oneself in the cave of sadness, however, loneliness is a mental disorder that has far-reaching effects deep in the brain’s functionality. As suggested by professor Holt-Lundstand, loneliness is somewhat equivalent to the feeling of helplessness and in the absence of others’ help our brain experiences “a state of alert”, and then signals the same state to the rest of the organs and fills them with alertness too. Staying in an alert state feels like you are wearing a dress covered with stress and fear. Intrinsically, stress hormones in our body contribute to anxiety, sleeplessness, and weight gain, which ultimately translate into depression and negative feelings about ourselves. This means that not only is our mentality under pressure, but our body and organs are also functionally exacerbating (Carson).

Sorrow, a feeling of extreme distress mainly caused by the loss of someone, is becoming a routine-like feeling for a great number of people who have lost their loved ones due to the Coronavirus. There are many families who lost their form and structure after the death of one or more members. Sorrow, similar to stress and loneliness, has direct impacts on our sanity and mental health. Evidently, bereavement can lead to “difficulty in sleeping” or even surged “substance use” and “alcohol consumption.” In fact, losing someone would not only put immediate pain and pressure on our shoulders for a few days, but it also changes our outlook on life and leads us to get accustomed to compulsive and destructive habits (Panchal et al.).

To conclude, in less than a year, this new disastrous pandemic has initiated a constant emergency state for every human being universally. COVID-19 has sabotaged not only public health, but also has given rise to countless mental disorders, starting from depression to loneliness, and deeply felt sorrow. It has been found that the depression symptoms are tripled from last year and this means that people are losing their spirit and are leaning towards demoralization and distress. However, there are some ways to tackle and diminish the effects, such as meditating, video-calling the loved ones, finding hobbies that suit our character, and learning new skills which are possible to be done at home. These solutions are highly crucial and urgently needed because the number of people with mental issues has nearly doubled in the past year, which is sheerly due to the Coronavirus that has bombarded many people’s lives with feelings of loneliness, melancholy, bereavement and anxiety.

Works Cited

Anthony, David. “Coronavirus affects mental health too- here’s is what we know.” The Guardian, 20 May 2020,
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/20/coronavirus-mental-health-trauma.
Accessed 20 Sept. 2020.

Carson, Erin. “How Loneliness Could Be Changing Your Brain And Body.” CNET, 28 Sept. 2020, https://www.cnet.com/news/how-loneliness-could-be-changing-your-brain-and-body/.
Accessed 31 Sept. 2020.

Drillinger, Meagan. “Depression Symptoms 3 Times Higher During COVID-19 Lockdown”
Healthline, 10 Sept. 2020,
https://www.healthline.com/health-news/depression-symptoms-3-times-higher-during-covid-19-lockdown.
Accessed 28 Sept. 2020.

Panchal, Nirmita et al. “The Implications Of COVID-19 For Mental Health And Substance Use.”
KFF, 21 Aug. 2020,
https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/the-implications- of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and-substance-use/.
Accessed 30 Sept. 2020.

Robinson, Lawrence, and Melinda Smith. “Dealing With Depression During Coronavirus.” Helpguide, May. 2020,
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/dealing-with-depression-during-coronavirus.htm. Accessed 30 Sept. 2020.

Salari, Nader, et al. “Prevalence of Stress, Anxiety, Depression among the General Population during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Review and Meta- Analysis.”
Globalization and Health, vol. 16, no. 1, 2020. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1186/s12992-020-00589-w.

Houra Mirhashemi was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in Dubai. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. Houra is a zealous writer and researcher, and being born in the Media Age has aided her in broadening her knowledge about various matters and has allowed her to share her artistic talents with others. Ultimately, living in the UAE and Canada, as well as traveling to many different countries, has allowed Houra to understand and tolerate different cultures.

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