It has only been a month since new hopes for the Pandemic to graduate away has come into mind. Yet, to face the world out there, and to cope with life that is an illusion of “new” and “normal” we often find ourselves fighting frustration while coping even with our daily lives. Every section of society faces its own post-Pandemic stress, and in India, it is heavily inter-twined with economic difficulties.
Stress and life…
The outbreak of Covid has from the start spread fear in each mind. In the initial months, a huge population was under a state of panic. From over-shopping groceries to excluding an infected person as a threat, our minds were stressed by the disease, completely.
As we learn how to stay safe, follow guidelines, and thanks to medical research, now have hope to survive the disease, the panic has gradually decreased, but the stress of the mind keeps building up. So, there is a definite need to address the issue of mental health.Taking different facets of society, we can identify different problems that both children and adults must fight. To take a few:
Students: The studentship in India comprises an economically divided section, where the majority cannot afford a separate “space” and personalized technological aid, e.g. phones, laptops, which increasingly frustrates these students, and places them in a complex pathway to studying, especially in a completely individualized, “online” medium.
Children: Children, especially under 7 years of age find it difficult to comprehend a sudden change in lifestyle. Staying indoors, interacting with classmates through video-calls, learning alphabets, and not being able to physically play outdoors, has placed children, especially in cities, in a dangerous mental situation.
Long-distance relationships: Sensitive human facets like “love” has been increasingly challenged by social distance- to be able to dispell doubt and mental differences that automatically arises from staying apart, having to build new lives for themselves has led to relationships falling apart.
Workers: From the miserable “walk” home, of the migrant labour, to major pay-cuts, employee-cuts, and reduction of demand in various products.
Workers in the health sector, faced a relentless work schedule, with a life-risk to bear burden of, all at once. Alongside, work from home for other sectors becomes difficult, especially when the field of ‘work’ and ‘home’ becomes common. Personal spaces, work spaces and spaces of leisure has been seriously harmed, wherein all workers like teachers and corporate office- workers find it difficult to deal with. This leads to a serious harm to mental health.
Women workers, especially officers and teachers, face a unique challenge, where the majority of married women are obligatorily asked to manage homes and cooking while managing work from home. Here is an example of a deeply gendered problem arising from the Pandemic.
Facing these problems is extremely challenging, but as of now, patience and a routine dealing of work and home is required. Spending time alone, exercises, meditation and discussions, both in the family and among work-colleagues is integral.
Most of all, community-sense, and the willingness to rise above taboo and prejudice, and help each other face the ghastly shadow of depression in each section of society is required. The ‘social-distance’ has the tendency of alienating person from person, and class from class.
Unless there is enough material and spiritual support from every community, there will be an increasing difficulty in fighting the problem. The world is facing a strange crisis, and hope is all we can look forward to. But when the disease is finally dealt with, the underlying problems will become unmasked. So, every person must be sensitized, taught the lessons of compromise and dissent to exploitation, before it is too late.