Bio: Debanjan Banerjee is an academic researcher from National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences. The author has contributed to research in topics: Mental health & Psychosocial. The author has an hindex of 15, co-authored 66 publications receiving 1181 citations.
TL;DR: The impact of COVID-19 on loneliness across different social strata, its implications in the modern digitalized age and a way forward with possible solutions to the same are looked at.
Abstract: The world is facing a global public health crisis for the last three months, as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerges as a menacing pandemic. Besides the rising number of cases and fatalities with this pandemic, there has also been significant socio-economic, political and psycho-social impact. Billions of people are quarantined in their own homes as nations have locked down to implement social distancing as a measure to contain the spread of infection. Those affected and suspicious cases are isolated. This social isolation leads to chronic loneliness and boredom, which if long enough can have detrimental effects on physical and mental well-being. The timelines of the growing pandemic being uncertain, the isolation is compounded by mass panic and anxiety. Crisis often affects the human mind in crucial ways, enhancing threat arousal and snowballing the anxiety. Rational and logical decisions are replaced by biased and faulty decisions based on mere ‘faith and belief’. This important social threat of a pandemic is largely neglected. We look at the impact of COVID-19 on loneliness across different social strata, its implications in the modern digitalized age and outline a way forward with possible solutions to the same. There is no doubt that national and global economies are suffering, the health systems are under severe pressure, mass hysteria has acquired a frantic pace and people’s hope and aspirations are taking a merciless beating. The uncertainty of a new and relatively unknown infection increases the anxiety, which gets compounded by isolation in lockdown. As global public health agencies like World Health Organization (WHO) and Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) struggle to contain the outbreak, social distancing is repeatedly suggested as one of the most useful preventive strategies. It has been used successfully in the past to slow or prevent community transmission during pandemics (WHO, 2019). While certain countries like China have just started recovering from their three-month lockdown, countries like Iran, Italy and South Korea have been badly hit irrespective of these measures and those like India have initiated nation-wide shutdown and curfews to prevent the community transmission of COVID-19. Ironically however, the social distancing is a misnomer, which implies physical separation to prevent the viral spread. The modern world has rarely been so isolated and restricted. Multiple restrictions have been imposed on public movement to contain the spread of the virus. People are forced to stay at home and are burdened with the heft of quarantine. Individuals are waking up every day wrapped in a freezing cauldron of social isolation, sheer boredom and a penetrating feeling of loneliness. The modern man has known little like this, in an age of rapid travel and communication. Though during the earlier outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Spanish flu, Ebola and Plague the world was equally shaken with millions of casualties, the dominance of technology was not as much as to make the distancing felt amplified (Smith, 2006). In this era of digitalization, social media, social hangouts, eateries, pubs, bars, malls, movie theatres to keep us distracted creating apparent ‘social ties’. Humankind has always known what to do next, with their lives generally following a regular trail. But this sudden cataclysmic turn of events have brought them face to face with a dire reckoning – how to live with oneself. It is indeed a frightening realization when a whole generation or two knows how to deal with a nuclear fallout but are at their wit’s end on how to spend time with oneself. Ironically, however, it has Social isolation in Covid-19: The impact of loneliness
TL;DR: The world has faced a global threat in last 2 months from the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the SARS-CoV-2, with increase in vulnerability, there is also rise in fear, panic, and apprehension in the seniors and their families.
Abstract: The world has faced a global threat in last 2 months from the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the SARS-CoV-2. Starting in the Wuhan region of China, it hardly took a month for it to emerge into a pandemic. Affecting around 260 000 globally and claiming the lives of around 12 000 COVID-19 has affected the very basis of living, leading to mass panic and hysteria. Symptoms at mild stage are mainly dry cough, sore throat, fever, malaise, and fatigue. However, in severe cases pneumonia can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multi-organ failure, eventually leading to death. The mortality rate is 2% to 3% which is much lower compared to its earlier congeners like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Having said that, COVID-19 is more contagious. The severity and fatality of COVID-19 has been directly related to age and immunecompromised states, as 15% of the first wave of deaths in China were aged above 60 years. According to Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the mortality rate in age group 60 to 69 years is 3.6% which can reach up to 18% at 80 years and above. World Health Organization in its guidelines has recommended strict social isolation in the geriatric population to control the deaths in heavily affected countries. With increase in vulnerability, there is also rise in fear, panic, and apprehension in the seniors and their families which have been, but little spoken about.
TL;DR: Marginalization and human rights deprivation emerged as a common pathway of suffering for the elderly during COVID-19 and potential recommendations to mitigate this marginalization are suggested on lines of the World Health Organization’s concept of Healthy Ageing and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Abstract: The world has endured over six months of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Older adults are at disproportionate risk of severe infection and mortality. They are also vulnerable to loneliness and social exclusion during the pandemic. Age and ageism both can act as significant risk factors during this pandemic, increasing the physical as well as psychosocial burden on the elderly. A review was performed in relation to the psychosocial vulnerabilities of the older adults during the pandemic, with insights from the similar biological disasters in the past. Besides the physiological risk, morbidities, polypharmacy and increased case fatality rates, various social factors like lack of security, loneliness, isolation, ageism, sexism, dependency, stigma, abuse and restriction to health care access were identified as crucial in pandemic situation. Frailty, cognitive and sensory impairments added to the burden. Marginalization and human rights deprivation emerged as a common pathway of suffering for the elderly during COVID-19. The implications of the emergent themes are discussed in light of psychosocial wellbeing and impact on the quality of life. The authors suggest potential recommendations to mitigate this marginalization on lines of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s concept of Healthy Ageing and the United Nations (U.N.) Sustainable Development Goals.
TL;DR: Preliminary evidence suggests that symptoms of anxiety and depression and self-reported stress are common psychological reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, and may be associated with disturbed sleep.
TL;DR: This systematic review and meta-analysis of existing research works and findings in relation to the prevalence of stress, anxiety and depression in the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic found that it is essential to preserve the mental health of individuals and to develop psychological interventions that can improve themental health of vulnerable groups during the pandemic.
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on public mental health Therefore, monitoring and oversight of the population mental health during crises such as a panedmic is an immediate priority The aim of this study is to analyze the existing research works and findings in relation to the prevalence of stress, anxiety and depression in the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic In this systematic review and meta-analysis, articles that have focused on stress and anxiety prevalence among the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic were searched in the Science Direct, Embase, Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science (ISI) and Google Scholar databases, without a lower time limit and until May 2020 In order to perform a meta-analysis of the collected studies, the random effects model was used, and the heterogeneity of studies was investigated using the I2 index Moreover data analysis was conducted using the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA) software The prevalence of stress in 5 studies with a total sample size of 9074 is obtained as 296% (95% confidence limit: 243–354), the prevalence of anxiety in 17 studies with a sample size of 63,439 as 319% (95% confidence interval: 275–367), and the prevalence of depression in 14 studies with a sample size of 44,531 people as 337% (95% confidence interval: 275–406) COVID-19 not only causes physical health concerns but also results in a number of psychological disorders The spread of the new coronavirus can impact the mental health of people in different communities Thus, it is essential to preserve the mental health of individuals and to develop psychological interventions that can improve the mental health of vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic
TL;DR: There is a need to intensify the awareness and address the mental health issues of people during this COVID-19 pandemic.
TL;DR: It is recommended to assess psychopathology of COVID-19 survivors and to deepen research on inflammatory biomarkers, in order to diagnose and treat emergent psychiatric conditions.
Abstract: Infection-triggered perturbation of the immune system could induce psychopathology, and psychiatric sequelae were observed after previous coronavirus outbreaks. The spreading of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could be associated with psychiatric implications. We investigated the psychopathological impact of COVID-19 in survivors, also considering the effect of clinical and inflammatory predictors. We screened for psychiatric symptoms 402 adults surviving COVID-19 (265 male, mean age 58), at one month follow-up after hospital treatment. A clinical interview and a battery of self-report questionnaires were used to investigate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, insomnia, and obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptomatology. We collected sociodemographic information, clinical data, baseline inflammatory markers and follow-up oxygen saturation levels. A significant proportion of patients self-rated in the psychopathological range: 28% for PTSD, 31% for depression, 42% for anxiety, 20% for OC symptoms, and 40% for insomnia. Overall, 56% scored in the pathological range in at least one clinical dimension. Despite significantly lower levels of baseline inflammatory markers, females suffered more for both anxiety and depression. Patients with a positive previous psychiatric diagnosis showed increased scores on most psychopathological measures, with similar baseline inflammation. Baseline systemic immune-inflammation index (SII), which reflects the immune response and systemic inflammation based on peripheral lymphocyte, neutrophil, and platelet counts, positively associated with scores of depression and anxiety at follow-up. PTSD, major depression, and anxiety, are all high-burden non-communicable conditions associated with years of life lived with disability. Considering the alarming impact of COVID-19 infection on mental health, the current insights on inflammation in psychiatry, and the present observation of worse inflammation leading to worse depression, we recommend to assess psychopathology of COVID-19 survivors and to deepen research on inflammatory biomarkers, in order to diagnose and treat emergent psychiatric conditions.
Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón1, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust2, King's College London3, Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli4, University of Copenhagen5, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile6, University of South Florida7, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland8, Hofstra University9, Charité10, Yale University11, RMIT University12, University of Birmingham13, University of Hong Kong14, University of Paris15, University College London16, Nanyang Technological University17, Columbia University18, University of Antioquia19, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven20, Shanghai Jiao Tong University21, Keio University22, University of Barcelona23, University of Brescia24
TL;DR: The interconnectedness of the world made society vulnerable to this infection, but it also provides the infrastructure to address previous system failings by disseminating good practices that can result in sustained, efficient, and equitable delivery of mental health-care delivery.