Despite being a beneficial policy to protect people’s physical health, COVID-19 lockdown has negatively contributed to mental health and psychological wellbeing. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments have adopted closure policies, among which were university and school closures, lockdown, and restrictions in movement. These policies have helped eliminate people’s contact, slow down the spread of the virus, and protect citizens’ physical health. On the other hand, mental health was noticeably overlooked, which led some nations to break the closure polices as was reported in Egypt.
Accordingly, the imbalance between physical and mental health has become counterproductive, posing more significant risk and a higher rate of infections across developing countries. One of the actions that were initiated by the World Health Organization was an interim guidance document that involved messages and instructions for various social groups affected by COVID-19 to provide them with guidance and consider their mental wellbeing. On May 13th , 2020, the United Nations published a policy brief in which it summarized some of the actions that are being supported by some of its agencies in the affected countries such as reinforcing recovery activities and relating mental health to educational, economic and physical well-being. With this, the UN aimed to support the mental health consideration in the recovery plans endorsed by governments.
This research questions the effect of the lockdown and closure policies on the mental health of young adults in Egypt, Ghana, India, Pakistan and Philippines, addressing various coping strategies in early adulthood. It also examines how the variation among these strategies could yield a difference in mental wellbeing during pandemics.
Abeeha Asghar; Areeba Shaikh; Noor Viresh Andharia; Niel Anthony Lajot; Rawan Mohamed; Ellen Barnie Peprah
Fazal Qureshi, Pakistan