The Mental Cost of the Coronavirus Pandemic and How to Best Cope With the Effect Of Lockdown

Guest Author

Now that we’ve been actively living with the effects of a dire pandemic for over a year it’s becoming increasingly clear that the cost of the devastation resulting from COVID-19 isn’t just as simple as counting those who have caught the virus.


In the US alone, nearly 30 million of us have caught the virus and over 500,000 have passed away and these are numbers that would have been frankly unthinkable just a little over a year ago.


As a society we have had to come to terms with, and effectively process, the world we live in today and that is a mental process that has left a huge proportion of the population struggling to live from day to day.


The coronavirus has left pretty much the entire planet dealing with a situation that hasn’t been dealt with in over a century and had this situation been a short-term event then perhaps as a society we could have easily rebounded back to a state of normalcy. 


However the prolonged situation has exacerbated the mental toll on individuals who have struggled both with the direct implications of the virus; be that financial as a result of losing a job or dealing with the passing of a relative to COVID-19, or indirectly by the effects of living with the restrictions imposed upon us.


Coping with the Repercussions of COVID-19


As governments seek to keep us safe they have looked to impose differing levels of restrictions and guidelines, designed to help keep the spread of the virus down. However, this has led to a severe strain on many industries.


Pretty much every country worldwide has seen unemployment rates soar as entire sections of the community have found themselves unable to work. The knock-on effects on those unable to count on savings have almost been as difficult a mountain to climb as the incredibly high death toll that has hit most communities.


The financial implications of the past year have led to a marked increase in the number of those who have been suffering from their mental health. Across the US the rates of suicide have increased significantly and have been especially high among younger people.


Researchers have found that it’s not just the direct effects of COVID-19 that have left countless thousands of people worrying about their mental health, it’s the actual act of being in lockdown itself that has led to a worrying rise in depression.


Living In Lockdown


In the early weeks of the virus, there was a sense that communities could cope with the initial effects of societies adjusting their lives due to the effects of attempting to restrict the spread of coronavirus


Indeed, there were some who enjoyed the novelty of having to deal with a new ‘normal’, but the longer the situation has been ongoing, the bigger the problem of acclimatization has become.


Seeing our physical connection with others reduced and having to put on hold all those ‘simply’ pleasures that we had taken for granted, has resulted in many questioning the likelihood of any potential return to normal.


The elderly have become very hard hit by such feelings, finding themselves even more cut off from the rest of the world, and of course, having the heightened concern of the possibility of contracting a virus that is far more likely to cause potentially fatal consequences.


Seeking, and Locating, Help


While it’s clear that a great many are suffering with life during this period it’s also, fortunately, true that the availability of services to help you through the anxiety, anguish, and distress is more readily accessible.


Clearly, the current situation has led to a downturn in in-person sessions of various forms of therapy but there has been an upsurge in the options when it comes to online therapy.


In the past, and to some extent presently, there has been some stigma about carrying out therapy sessions via an online mechanism, it is now very commonplace. 


Many therapists and mental health support providers now offer their services online and you can seek assistance without having to put yourself through the undue stress of traveling to an appointment.


This increase in availability has led to a noticeable reduction in the cost of online therapy, as more and more service providers choose to market themselves remotely and this is of great help to many.


The support network of family and friends has been weakened by the lack of direct contact with those we might seek out for assistance and as a result the online therapy options that are now numerous, are in many ways lifesavers for thousands across the country.