It is challenging to deny that the COVID-19 pandemic has become the most unexpected and influential phenomenon in the past years. Millions of people are infected, while multiple countries experience economic problems because of the crisis. Since all efforts are taken to determine and control virus transmission processes and their impact on physical health, little attention is drawn to its influence on people’s psychology. That is why this paper will offer scientific evidence to explain how the COVID-19 pandemic affects a person’s psychology and how the world can benefit from this information.
Patients’ Mental Health Issues
To begin with, one should admit that the pandemic unequally impacts various population groups. On the one hand, Twenge says that people of 18-44 years old and those who have children have suffered the most regarding their mental health. This information can denote that such people consider unstable conditions more harmful to their well-being. It is rational to understand why these individuals are under a more significant impact. Since Twenge does not offer any definite explanations, it is possible to suppose that this population group is more vulnerable to unexpected events’ adverse consequences. It is typical that few young individuals only have high-paid jobs or actual savings. Simultaneously, the presence of a child in the household provides adults with greater responsibility. It means that if something goes wrong, these people are more subject to suffer from deteriorated mental health.
On the other hand, representatives of minority communities also face severe consequences. According to Noori and Rosenthal, it is so because these individuals often deal with socioeconomic challenges and insufficient medical insurances (par. 1). As a result, the pandemic has subjected them to multiple issues, and their mental health has failed to cope with the problems. Noori and Rosenthal also admit that unemployment and increasing stress levels are the most common facts that result in issues with mental health (para. 2). This information denotes that the COVID-19 pandemic has not brought any exceptional problems. Instead, it has revealed and deepened the existing socioeconomic challenges in the United States. This scenario has resulted in the fact the vulnerable population groups have been forced to deal with additional issues, which has inevitably affected their psychological well-being.
These facts demonstrate that the coronavirus has made some people experience more mental problems than others. Against the background of physical health problems, this state of affairs significantly deteriorates people’s well-being because the vulnerable groups above represent a significant part of the US population. It denotes that the healthcare industry should take adequate measures to address people’s psychological states in addition to preventing the virus spread. That is why psychiatrists should occupy a more significant place in the industry since it is their responsibility to mitigate the problems under consideration. Noori and Rosenthal stipulate that these healthcare professionals should use the situation to improve mental health care in the USA (para. 2). Thus, it is evident that a comprehensive approach is necessary to cope with the pandemic and its adverse impact on average citizens.
Healthcare Professionals Are Under Impact
Furthermore, it is reasonable to emphasize that healthcare providers are on the front lines of dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, explaining that mental health problems are typical among them. For example, Falzone argues that the pandemic deteriorates medical workers’ mental health because they faced many deaths a day (par. 2). Even though medical professionals are trained to work in such conditions, the unexpectedly high number of fatalities is terrific even for the most pragmatic doctors. This situation denotes that a stress level can be high during the outbreak. According to Falzone, healthcare providers’ mental health suffers because many patients die alone because their relatives or friends may not visit them (para. 4). In this case, medical professionals remain the only source of emotional support, and it is challenging for them to have decent psychological conditions when they have to care for many individuals.
However, it is challenging to mention that relationships with patients only result in medical professionals’ deteriorated mental health. Ripp et al. also admit that healthcare professionals are subject to many stressors, including “shortages of critical care medical resources, limited availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), and grief over deaths of fellow clinicians” (1136). This information demonstrates that decreased safety plays a crucial role in determining doctors’ psychological well-being. In addition to that, Ripp et al. argue that insufficient information regarding the virus and its distribution peculiarities aggravates the mental health of the whole medical industry (1136). The absence of adequate communication between healthcare professionals also increases stress levels because doctors feel isolated in the fight against the pandemic.
This information denotes that medical workers’ emotional well-being is in a sad condition because multiple issues can elevate stress levels. The situation is dangerous because stress sources come from all activity spheres. It refers to the fact that relationships with patients, communication with fellow clinicians, access to PPE, and others can deteriorate mental health. It is so because the US healthcare industry was unprepared for the severe consequences that the COVID-19 pandemic brought. Since the problems regarding the population’s mental health have been highlighted, it is necessary to comment on possible solutions.
The scientific evidence above demonstrates that the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected multiple people, including healthcare providers and ordinary citizens. That is why it is necessary to interpret these data to generate some recommendations for the future. Taylor suggests that the psychological effect of recent pandemics, including the coronavirus one, is more dangerous for people than the disease impact (23). It is so because numerous citizens of developed nations have accustomed to having everything under their control, meaning that a single unexpected event can result in severe problems for them. Furthermore, it is necessary to mention that deteriorated mental health can have different and even opposing manifestations. On the one hand, Taylor explains that indifference is some people’s protective reaction to the pandemic (24). Such individuals insist that there is no need to follow preventive recommendations. This behavior will lead to a significant increase in the number of coronavirus-infected citizens. On the other hand, panic is the opposite of indifference, but it also leads to adverse consequences (Taylor 24). Intense anxiety and fear are devastating because they make people experience continuous emotional tension that is dangerous for their health.
The information above indicates that it is of importance to address people’s psychological well-being. For example, Torales et al. highlight the connection between the pandemic and the people’s deteriorated conditions and stipulate that crisis management “should include a focus on mental health” (319). This claim denotes that the current practice does not draw significant attention to address the issues under analysis. Torales et al. also mention that community psychological interventions are required, but it is also necessary to accumulate evidence-based research on the topic (319). More studies are needed since they can identify more effective approaches to address mental health issues. In other words, it is not rational to ignore these psychological issues since emotional well-being can help the world cope with the virus in the near future.
In conclusion, no one can challenge the idea that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively influenced people’s mental health. On the one hand, numerous people experienced an adverse impact because the crisis intensified their socioeconomic problems. This information denotes that some groups of the US population are vulnerable, meaning that some unexpected events can create severe problems for their psychological well-being. It means that the government should draw more attention to providing such individuals with the required assistance. On the other hand, healthcare professionals faced psychological problems since they were forced to encounter many deaths and work in challenging conditions. Insufficient protective equipment, lack of communication with fellow clinicians, unclear information regarding the virus, and others result in significant issues for doctors.
Thus, affected mental health results in the fact that people can differently respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, subjecting the whole society to adverse consequences. It refers to either increased rates of coronavirus spread of panic among the population. This information denotes that the response to the pandemic should address both physical and mental health issues. Scientific articles demonstrate that drawing attention to people’s psychology can improve the situation for the whole world. Consequently, evidence-based research is necessary to identify how it is possible to improve people’s mental health against the pandemic background.
Falzone, Diana. “’It Is Harrowing. It Is Daunting. It Is Overwhelming’: The Mental Toll of Coronavirus Is Crushing Medical Workers.” Vanity Fair, 2020, Web.
Noori, Sofia, and Isobel Rosenthal. “Mental Health after COVID-19.” Scientific American, 2020, Web.
Ripp, Jonathan, et al. “Attending to the Emotional Well-Being of the Health Care Workforce in a New York City Health System During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Academic Medicine, vol. 95, no. 8, 2020, pp. 1136-1139.
Taylor, Steven. The Psychology of Pandemics: Preparing for the Next Global Outbreak of Infectious Disease. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019.
Torales, Julio, et al. “The Outbreak of COVID-19 Coronavirus and Its Impact on Global Mental Health.” International Journal of Social Psychiatry, vol. 66, no. 4, 2020, pp. 317-320.
Twenge, Jean. “New Study Shows Staggering Effect of Coronavirus Pandemic on America’s Mental Health.” The Conversation: An Independent Source of Analysis from Academic Researchers, 2020, Web.