Home Commentaries & Articles The Encroachment of COVID-19 on Intellectual Abilities

The Encroachment of COVID-19 on Intellectual Abilities

Intellectual Abilities

Intellectual Abilities

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has become increasingly complicated, risky and a nightmare for many people. It had caused a hindrance to a normal lifestyle and affected the intellectual abilities of a person. During this pandemic, people were commonly distress with fear of contamination of germs and stretching the topic of its intensified effect in the future. As a ramification, reports of anxieties, depression, and emotional trauma are on the rise. In India, there is a 20 per cent hike in the cases of mental illness affecting the individual in the form of loss of interest, sleep disruption, withdrawal from social life, and difficulty in concentration. To ease the situation, several measures have been taken by the government and denizens of the country to balance the health and economic factors. Also, digital healthcare is a great facilitator and allows healthcare professionals to break down geographical boundaries in helping individuals in a time like this even when travel is restricted. Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has possessed several guidelines to deal with mental illness. Furthermore, the dominance of technology aids the situation by reaching out to maximum people facing the issue.

The virus was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan China and has spread to 180 countries across the world. Due to the pandemic, a complete or partial lockdown was declared among several countries and new rules and regulations were imposed by the government on the most affected sectors like tourism and hospitability, aviation, real estate sector, educational institutions, etc. Additionally, with the dominance of technology, there were several positive changes in the environment and global markets as people could work from home, but overall dealing with cognitive dementia has been redoubtable. According to the statement by Dr Manu Tiwari, Head of Department, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, “The lockdown has had a massive impact on the lifestyle of people. They are staying indoors with limited resources. They are now suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, and even alcohol withdrawal syndrome”. Furthermore, another survey by the Indian Psychiatry Society states that the overall percentage of people dealing with mental illness is increased by 20 per cent. Further, the phobia of contamination of the virus would be converted to long term illness, and the affected person experiences significant distress. The expedited process of people to adopt digital world undermine the factors of jealousy and competitiveness as people are selectively presenting the best versions of themselves on it while hiding their failures.On the other hand, there are some positive changes in the lives of people due to the fast-growing world as now they get more time to spend with their families, learn and upgrade their skills by participating in hackathons, webinars, and learning online courses and having access of several other digital platforms. Furtherthe evolution of mental illness, however, has not been linear or progressive but rather cyclical.

Psychology is one of the most promising fields in the aspect of dealing with human behaviour and also environment have a great influence on it. Earlier ancient civilizations discriminated against physical and mental illness by believing the reason caused by specific deities. As a result, religious ceremonies were assisted in the healing process.  The Greek physician Galen (AD 1301-201) opened the door for psychogenic illness by stress as the potential cause of the abnormality. For instance,the 16th Century, War and economic depression bring forth an immense number of undesirables, and these were voluntarily separated from society and sent to the asylums.

In Later years, Psychoanalysis was the dominant treatment by launching 400 different schools of psychotherapy by 2006. German Psychiatrist like Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926) centred a pattern of symptoms (syndrome) cause of an underlying physiological illness. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) has undergone various revisions to help clinicians and other diagnostic systems such as health diagnoses outlined by the World Health Organization to work together. Furthermore, burgeoning pharmaceutical industry view and processes mental illness as a chemical imbalance in the brain. During the 2005 to 2018 period, 203,070 adolescents had been interviewed, and of these 47,090 (19.7 per cent) reported prior-year treatment or counseling for mental health problems.

The pandemic caused distress among people due to sudden termination from the social environment. The consequences faced are being categorized into three different age groups:

Children: Learning with peers leads to their physical and mental augmentation and a sudden social withdrawal has imposed an act of punishment on their routine. The feeling of helplessness, loneliness, and fear of being socially excluded, or separated from loved ones are common, while prolonged stress, boredom, and social isolation, as well as a lack of outdoor play, can lead to a higher number of mental health conditions in children, such as anxiety and even depression. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 32 crore learners are affected in India, of which 15.8 crore are female and 16.2 crore are male students. Also,aUK survey was taken on 7th May; Nearly one in four children living under COVID-19 lockdowns, social restrictions, and school closures are dealing with feelings of anxiety, with many at risk of lasting psychological distress, including depression.

Adults: Around 90% of India’s workforce is involved in the work sector. As per the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s (CMIE) weekly tracker survey, an increase in the unemployment rate of 19.2% with 20% in urban areas and 18.9% in rural areas till 12th June 2020 has led to the feelings of helplessness, distress, anxiety and eventually trauma. About more than 70% organization has started moving towards a virtual method of recruitment. Though our nation is blessed with technological advancement but not all people have equivalent access to it, candidates with the impoverished background are mostly affected by the virtual hiring due to technological impairment in their region.

Elders: A survey for old age people was conducted by Help Age India estimated around 80% of elder people in India are not able to get proper food, medicines during the lockdown. The survey consisted of 99 % of elderly citizens in 21 states and Union territory. Poverty has increased due to pandemic and people are getting more affected by it. Old age people are being afraid of going to hospital due to pandemic and getting affected. In urban areas, they spend more time in the garden with their friends of the same age group. But due to lockdown, this has created a sudden withdrawal from society. As they are not fond of video calls while their children are busy at work from home, less communication has led to a drastic effect of fear and depression among them. According to the report of Help Age India at least 65 percent of the elderly respondents said that Covid-19 impacted their livelihoods.

Pandemic has increased the choice of work from home by making a versatile work environment. It’s going to end in a lack of motivation, fitness, and health-related factors. To tackle this problem is to keep our mind relax, stay motivated, and being physically and mentally fit. Further, with the assistance of research fieldwork and along with the dominance of technology, several measures are taken to ease the difficulty of psychological illness. As such, a well-liked Chabot – and a Google Play award winner of 2019 – Woebot aims to duplicate a conversation between a real-life therapist and a patient. It helps users reflect on their moods with step-by-step guidance using tools from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In addition to, Automation and Machine learning is the next-generation analysis of therapy sessions as Lyssna (pronounced “listen”) transcribe therapist-patient conversations into text and analyze the interactions to work out if providers are using evidence-based, best practices in their treatment. Furthermore, several projects from top-notch universities like SimSensei catch crucial nonverbal cues. Ellie analyses multisensory information like countenance and gestures to assist assess a user, and thereby, enable appropriate treatment. Also, UK prince William took the initiative of online counsellingto ease the situation for people during the lockdown, and Karnataka government performing on the web site E-Manas for psychological state registry where it claims to date, quite 1.65 lakh people have received counselling, aside from 52,000 migrants and quite 1,500 Corona warriors.

Overall, Mental Health plays a vital role in any age group and it is equally important to indulge in activities that nourish the intellectual abilities of a person.


Disclaimer: The views expressed are of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of Diplomacy and Beyond Plus. The publication is not liable for the views expressed by authors.