Hi all – this post is going to be a work in progress as I continue to add new things about how coronavirus destroys our mental health and economy.
Who am I? Just a mom with a blog who feels like the world’s been torn apart the past 5 days.
From the moment #CancelEverything took over the world I felt that something was missing. While I fully understood the importance of “flattening the curve”, I could’t help but wonder if perhaps there were other ways to slow the spread of the virus that wouldn’t result in the inevitable repercussions to our mental health and economy.
So I decided to do what I could on my own to provide information to us all. I’ve been gathering news articles about the other side of #CancelEverything.
I am not posting this to cause more fear. Fear got us in to this sticky mess in the first place. I am hoping to help temper fear by spreading information. To show why there’s never a simple answer to complex issues such as this. And how #CancelEverything may end up causing more harm then it’s worth if we don’t pay attention.
**also, this is a growing post & I’ll continue to add to as I find articles. You might want to bookmark it.
****also note: all emphasis is mine
HOW CORONAVIRUS DESTROYS OUR MENTAL HEALTH
Quarantine has serious impact on mental health. Here’s how to support yourself and others
“Before shaming others for going to the park or labeling staying indoors as a “minor inconvenience,” as has happened on Twitter, know that medical quarantine, and isolation in general, is associated with serious mental health effects. A recent review of research, published in The Lancet, found that quarantine is linked with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, confusion, and anger, with some research suggesting these effects are long-lasting. Given that the coronavirus crisis is likely to be with us for some time, the mental health implications can’t be dismissed.”
Coronavirus will also cause a loneliness epidemic
“But just as the coronavirus fallout threatens to cause an economic recession, it’s also going to cause what we might call a “social recession”: a collapse in social contact that is particularly hard on the populations most vulnerable to isolation and loneliness“
Quarantine for Coronavirus Has Serious Side Effects
“But the persistence of mental illness due to past epidemics suggests that China will be dealing with the side-effects of its approach long after the last case of Covid-19 is cured. That will be an expensive process, both financially and socially, and one that the rest of the world should monitor as carefully as China.”
Anxiety on rise due to coronavirus, say mental health charities
“Quarantine or self-isolation is likely to have a negative impact on mental wellbeing. A review of the psychological impact of quarantine published in the Lancet in February said: “Separation from loved ones, the loss of freedom, uncertainty over disease status, and boredom can, on occasion, create dramatic effects. Suicide has been reported, substantial anger generated, and lawsuits brought following the imposition of quarantine in previous outbreaks.“
Social distancing could have devastating effect on people with depression
“The fact that there’s so much of an urgency to disconnect creates a lot of fear with people.”
“Humans are wired to be social creatures, and that’s how we cope when a big disaster happens,” said Judith Moskowitz, a professor of medical social science at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “Now, we’re being told to cope with this by staying away from each other.”
Coronavirus and the Isolation Paradox
“A paradox of this moment is that while social distancing is required to contain the spread of the coronavirus, it may also contribute to poor health in the long run. So while physical isolation will be required for many Americans who have Covid-19 or have been exposed to it, it’s important that we don’t let such measures cause social and emotional isolation, too.”
‘Fear spreads like a virus’: How coronavirus panic is taking a toll on N.J.’s mental health
“When we look at the responses of prior outbreaks of things, it doesn’t compare. It is much worse now because the fear spreads just like a virus,” Owens said. “As soon as someone hears something, they post it to social media, and it spreads. And the initial message gets distorted. “The message mutates the same way the virus mutates.”
However, Owens said if the media covered the flu the way it is covering COVID-19, people wouldn’t be able to function.”
Factbox: How we die: coronavirus in perspective
“Yet while few would deny the outbreak’s official status as an international health emergency, in the ranking of top causes of death it pales into insignificance compared to heart disease, cancer, road accidents, suicide or homicide.”
How Mass Hysteria Is Making Coronavirus Worse Than It Actually Is
“Although stress is highly contagious and contributes to increased morbidity and mortality, including during fear pandemics, the excess deaths caused by the panic are not tracked by the CDC or WHO. Nor are the potential deaths resulting from the disruptions caused by the extraordinary measures taken by people and governments around the world. Thus, it is impossible to ascertain the net difference of lives saved or lost by these extraordinary measures precipitated by the global panic.“
Why a coronavirus quarantine in the U.S. is a bad idea
“There is broad agreement in public health that isolation can be an effective tactic, particularly with viral illnesses like COVID-19 that can spread through droplets in the air, but many argue that enforced quarantine and broad travel restrictions do more harm than good.”
“Quarantining entire areas traps people who have not been exposed with those who are sick for indeterminate amounts of time, increasing the chance that they will become exposed. This is the situation in the case of cruise ships that are denied docking. Quarantines also lead to social isolation, which can pose risks to mental health.”
“the process of containment through restriction was only possible because China has a world-leading amount of electronic surveillance and physical control over its population. There are also concerns over censorship of COVID-19 related information.”
Quarantines Won’t Save Us From Coronavirus
“There are reasons to be skeptical of the efficacy of quarantine, for respiratory diseases [like coronavirus] in particular,” said Wendy Parmet, director of the Center for Health Policy and Law at Northeastern University Law School. Quarantine is one of the oldest defenses societies have had against disease, but it’s not a sure-fire way to stop a disease from spreading and shouldn’t be any government’s knee-jerk response. In fact, in some circumstances, a quarantine could actually make things worse.”
Is There a Case for Quarantine? Perspectives from SARS to Ebola.
“Given the need to balance public safety with human rights, we must be more precise about the meaning of quarantine and consider the efficacy and negative secondary effects resulting from its implementation. “
Op-Ed: It’s fear, not coronavirus, that’s roiling world markets and upending daily life
“What’s particularly ironic is that frightened people are more susceptible to viral and other diseases. Numerous studies suggest that fear and stress weaken our immune systems, leaving us more vulnerable to infection….Fear-ridden people not only make dicey decisions themselves; they pressure public officials to do so.“
“Evolution provided this response to help us survive. When we’re on a hike and spot a rattle snake, the fight or flight response serves us well. But like other of our natural impulses, it doesn’t benefit us in every situation….
Some social scientists contend that fear itself is addictive. It certainly feeds on itself. We share our fears about the virus with frightened friends, who respond with their own concerns. Or we go online to check out something we heard on the radio and come across a dozen other scary stories.”
Panic Not. Lest Emotional Contagion Cause More Harm Than Coronavirus
“Fear is contagious too. And allowing ourselves to be swept up into a collective panic doesn’t strengthen our ability to manage the threat of Covid-19. It weakens it.
The hysteria that has highjacked rational thinking in recent days has already wreaked immense havoc. Indeed, its ripple effect of fear gone viral may well exact a far steeper toll on human life and livelihoods than the virus itself.”
“So it’s not Covid-19 that frightens me the most right now. It’s the impact on the millions of people across the globe whose lives and livelihoods are being upended by our response to it.“
I know our primitive “monkey brain” can highjack higher-order thinking when it perceives threat; that it’s wired for fear-casting – overestimating the risks and underestimating our ability to cope with them. However, I also know that as potent as fear can be, that we humans are capable of rising above our lowest, primal, inclinations.“
Column: Feeling depressed? You’re not alone
“Working from home can create feelings of loneliness and isolation. Empty store shelves are deeply distressing. Let’s not even talk about the stock market.
“It will take some time for us to see the long-term mental health effects of this situation, but it has a lot of the ingredients that can affect people’s mental health negatively in a significant way,” said Jutta Joorman, a psychology professor at Yale University.”
In Coronavirus Fight, China’s Vulnerable Fall Through the Cracks
“Life is too tough,” Ms. Zhang wrote on Weibo, the Twitter-like social media platform. “I want to jump from the balcony.”
“it’s the most vulnerable — the poor, the disabled, the very old and the very young — who have been hit hardest. The coronavirus is exposing the breadth of China’s wealth gap and the holes in its social safety net.”
“A young couple, both migrant workers, left their newborn son at a Guangdong Province hospital last month because they were out of money and, with the economy at a standstill, couldn’t find work. In Henan Province, state media reported that a ninth-grade girl attempted suicide after her school shut down and she couldn’t take online classes, because her family had to share a single mobile phone.”
Coronavirus pandemic threatens to knock $1 trillion off global economy
“Depending on how long a pandemic lasts, the economic fallout for some could be lethal, like the virus itself.
Aaron Reeves at the University of Oxford, who was part of a team that found the financial crash was linked to an extra 10,000 suicides in Europe and North America, says the recent stock market fall could result in more suicides.
“There is a real chance this leads to rises in unemployment in the next three to six months,” he says. “We would expect some mental health implications, and the hard edge of that is suicide.”
More coronavirus destroys our mental health articles to come…
HOW CORONAVIRUS DESTROYS OUR ECONOMY
Coronavirus Diaries: Scenes From a Restaurant That Just Fired Its Entire Staff
“Tensions rose between us and the neighborhood about whether we were being irresponsible by remaining open. People on Instagram shamed diners, then others shamed those with secure incomes able to stay at home while we had to work.”“`
“And here we are on Monday—more than 800,000 potentially out of work in New York alone. I have been told to file for unemployment. I don’t qualify. Even for those who do, like my partner, the site has crashed nonstop today. From what I’ve heard, no one can get through. No one knows when their next dollar will come and where it will come from, and that stress and anxiety is palpable.”
“Looking around at my colleagues and thinking about all the other people I’ve worked with, I feel helpless. There are people here who are going to suffer in ways we don’t even understand yet. Evictions might be stalled in some cities, but what are people going to say to their landlords when rent is due? When are we going to be able to pay? What happens to our undocumented co-workers, who have nowhere to turn, least of all to the government?”
Coronavirus could financially cripple many Americans
“Americans’ health may not be the only thing at stake as the coronavirus continues its unrelenting spread in the U.S. The virus could also prove financially crippling for many individuals.
“I think the major thing is, essentially being out of work for 14 days for most Americans is a very strong financial hit that many people can’t absorb,” said Gerard Anderson, a professor of public health at Johns Hopkins University.”
If 18 Months of Extreme Social Distancing Is What It Takes To Stop Coronavirus, We’re Doomed
“It is difficult to imagine people continuing to follow self-quarantine policies for weeks. It’s impossible to imagine them doing it for a whole year. If that’s what it’s going to take to fully stop the spread of COVID-19, it’s worth wondering whether we should admit defeat before we do any additional damage to the economy. Eighteen months of extreme social distancing isn’t feasible.”
More Coronavirus destroys our economy articles to come!
HOW CORONAVIRUS DESTROYS OUR SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS
Coronavirus and allergies: Don’t sneeze-shame
“The Lehigh Valley is full of allergy sufferers. Please don’t treat us like Typhoid Marys. We don’t have the coronavirus….Don’t make it more brutal by treating sufferers like we have the plague.”
“I used the example of the United Airlines flight that had to make an unintended stop Sunday to remove passengers who were being unruly about a person aboard who was sneezing and coughing — from seasonal allergies. I said that was disgraceful and alarmist. My comments offended at least one reader,”
“We’re all being inconvenienced by this health scare. Turning on each other for what may be no reason will only make the situation worse.”
‘What’s the Right Thing to Do?’ Coronavirus Forces Families to Make Painful Childcare Decisions
“Parents and childcare workers are facing this dilemma across the country, especially now that many districts are closing schools. Many parents simply cannot stay home. But there are also genuine questions about whether they can ask other people to look after their children, when all efforts are being made to limit contagion. In one of the series of cascading dominoes that are toppling the norms of 21st century life as people have known it, parents are now scrambling to find a way to work, while childcare workers have to face the question of whether they can work safely—or afford not to work.”
More Coronavirus destroys our social relationships articles to come!
HOW TO LIVE A LIFE WORTH LIVING (Instead of Cowering In Fear & Isolation)
COVID-19’s Mortality Rate Isn’t As High As We Think
“This all suggests that COVID-19 is a relatively benign disease for most young people, and a potentially devastating one for the old and chronically ill, albeit not nearly as risky as reported. Given the low mortality rate among younger patients with coronavirus…we need to divert our focus away from worrying about preventing systemic spread among healthy people—which is likely either inevitable, or out of our control—and commit most if not all of our resources toward protecting those truly at risk of developing critical illness and even death: everyone over 70, and people who are already at higher risk from this kind of virus.
This still largely comes down to hygiene and isolation. But in particular, we need to focus on the right people and the right places. Nursing homes, not schools. Hospitals, not planes. We need to up the hygienic and isolation ante primarily around the subset of people who can’t simply contract SARS-CoV-2 and ride it out the way healthy people should be able to.”
The Coronavirus vs. Civil Liberties
“We need testing. We need for individuals to be tested, and our civil liberties don’t just simply go away because there is a virus that is afoot that might affect many people. You don’t lose your civil liberties simply because there is something in the air. You don’t lose your civil liberties simply because you become sick. It’s important to understand the primacy of due process. Yes, we do want to protect health and safety. And in times in which the state does do that, there are times in which our civil liberties are mediated against that, but there should never be a wholesale removal or the trampling of an individual’s or whole communities’ civil liberties because we are struggling with a health concern or even a health crisis.”
China’s Draconian Lockdown Is Getting Credit for Slowing Coronavirus. Would It Work Anywhere Else?
“But others question the cost of China’s containment, and are asking if it’s worth turning to draconian measures that indiscriminately infringe on citizens’ civil liberties and cripple their livelihoods. Now, as the rest of the world faces a growing pandemic, policy makers are eyeing the Chinese model to determine what worked—and whether the most aggressive measures are feasible, or even desirable.
“No other nation (western or otherwise) can or should seek to replicate China’s actions,” Thomas Bollyky, the director of the Global Health Program at the Washington D.C.-based Council on Foreign Relations, tells TIME via email. “The disregard for civil liberties and human rights that the government has demonstrated in its quarantine and censorship activities are inseparable from the policies and actions of the government that contributed to the outbreak in the first place.”
“The measures required to stop transmission completely may be too socially or economically extreme,” Ben Cowling, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Hong Kong, tells TIME. “There has to be a balance between protecting people’s lives and their livelihoods.”
“Cowling, of the University of Hong Kong, tells TIME that China’s lockdown wouldn’t have worked if officials had not also paired it with rigorous containment measures—widespread testing to find as many cases as possible, then isolating those infected, and quarantining any contacts who might be infected, to stop chains of transmission.”
Tough Measures to Stem the Coronavirus Outbreak Could Be in Place for 18 Months, Scientists Say
“South Korea, which in early March had the worst outbreak outside of China, has managed to slow the rate of new infections without introducing lockdown-style measures. Instead, the country carried out testing on a massive scale and aggressively traced patients’ contacts by tracking their movements through their credit card transactions and cell phone use — as well as widespread surveillance cameras — enabling them to isolate those who were at risk. A transparent public information campaign also helped people to stay away from high risk neighborhoods and take other action to protect themselves.”
Coronavirus: South Korea’s aggressive testing gives clues to true fatality rate
“If we can test more people – whether they have no symptoms, mild or severe disease – the results, including the case fatality rate, are more accurate and representative when the whole disease spectrum is taken into consideration,” said David Hui Shu-cheong, an expert in respiratory medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “Most countries just focus on testing the hospitalised patients who obviously have more severe disease, and the fatality rate [appears] high.”
More to come!
Your thoughts? Do you think Coronavirus destroys our mental health, economy, and relationships?
This time you are wrong. Until two weeks ago I was listening to the same reasoning from friends and family still living in Italy. Today in my hometown bodies are piling up and everybody knows at list one person in ICU or deceased because of the COVID19.
Pray God that US will be able to flatten the curve.
It is really sad what is happening in Italy. I have no words for the devastation there. I know that a lot of people have been comparing Italy to the U.S. and there have even been viral articles & charts showing how our curves are similar. However, I explained this a bit more in a facebook post of mine (https://www.facebook.com/thinktoomuchmom/posts/2834890126604595), but the thing people keep leaving out of in the Italy/U.S. comparison is that we are five times larger than Italy, so to compare our numbers as similar, is actually showing that our rates are five times lower than Italy.
I’m not trying to dismiss the tragedy of Italy, but in all of this, I’ve been trying to point out other truths in all this that aren’t being as widely reported. And it’s important that we look at the U.S. differently than Italy. We are not showing rates like them in terms of population size. We have our unique struggles and our own unique population and we should seek to do what’s best for us, not copy what Italy did.
I just found your blog and so far I love it! It’s so important to me to avoid intellectual laziness and to figure out how to teach my kids how to think for themselves. Unfortunately, one of the casualties of the #canceleverything movement appears to be curiosity and independent thinking. When discussion and exchange of ideas is no longer embraced, all of society loses.