Let us face it. We may all have, at some point during this lockdown, encountered the ‘quarantine blues’ – that is, to put it very mildly – the deep, unsettling and disconcerting medley of grief, anxiety and fear. Life as we know it, may have come to a complete standstill for many, or worse yet, slipped into an irreversible decline. Loved ones may be sick, stranded or may have passed on; livelihoods lost; life plans brought to a screeching halt; and day to day survival may seem like an insurmountable struggle.
A recently published study on the psychological impact of quarantine, reports several negative effects including post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion, and anger, triggered by infection fears, frustration, boredom, financial loss, and stigma. The World Health Organization (WHO) has in fact issued a detailed advisory on “mental and psychosocial well-being during COVID-19 outbreak”.As the number of COVID-19 related suicides steadily rises, the Indian government has, in partnership with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) launched a toll-free helpline for people facing mental health issues during these trying times.More recently, a PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court, seeking free services from TV channels, streaming apps and mobile companies, to lower the psychological stress caused by confinement during lockdown.