Letter to BS: Lockdown to take a toll on the mental health of people

At a time people have been advised to stay at home and practice social distancing as part of measures to combat the spread of coronovirus even as poor and daily wage earners are bracing for worse where they have to face the maximum brunt stemming from the 21 days lockdown period, concerns about the toll such unprecedented lockdown would take on the mental health of people are real and cannot be taken lightly. There are proven scientific evidence pointing to the inextricable link between increasing level of stress, depression and anxiety among people and prolonged period of social isolation or quarantine. Practising physical distance and social togetherness by reaching out to people through phone or media and supporting people in each other's difficulties is what we needed at this critical juncture to keep anxiety and stress at bay. The growing "infodemic", an epidemic of wrong information on social media platforms, will only heighten anxiety, stress and depression. It is time people stayed away from spreading misinformation on the Covid-19 pandemic. The mental and emotional toll of the virus is as much a threat to public health as the virus itself.

M Jeyaram  Tamil Nadu

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