Covid-19 How To Beat The Social Recession
MAXIM Australia|June 2020
BROOKE BENSON CAMPBELL (BHSc Nut Med) investigates how the new regulations and coronavirus guidelines are affecting us, both physically and psychologically, and gives some tips on how to overcome this current social slump…
At this stage of the social isolation game, you may have noticed an obvious divide emerging among your friends. As distancing and self-imposed quarantine wear on and workplaces begin staggering employees in-office days to cope with regulations, the COVID-19 outbreak has left many people feeling alone and detached in ways never thought possible. Some of us respond by hunkering down into cosy domesticity: baking banana bread, reading books or taking long baths alongside a trusty IPA. Others challenge themselves to return from seclusion with inflated muscles and a spray tan in a show of over-exercise meets ‘whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger’.

And yet by this stage, more and more of us are beginning to fray: Zooming with friends (or colleagues that you previously wouldn’t have given any attention to) becomes a necessity rather than a luxury; the closure of a favourite coffee shop is cause for tears (and withdrawal tremors); and the walls are closing in Jumanji-style. Regardless of how hipster-hygge you’re feeling at the moment, experts suggest that the negative feelings and experiences associated with prolonged social isolation will come for us all. So, how are the new regulations affecting us, physically and psychologically, and what can we do to beat the social recession? Read on…

While the coronavirus pandemic is an extreme, largely unprecedented moment, the kind of seclusion that’s been causing people to display their tragic dance skills on TikTok over the last few weeks is not as uncommon an experience as you might imagine. The impacts of social isolation on our bodies and minds have been felt and studied in a variety of different groups over the years, from astronauts to incarcerated criminals and Antarctic researchers. The patterns that have emerged from their experiences with radical isolation illuminate ways to understand and improve our own.

And whilst research on the psychological toll of social distancing during epidemics is thankfully limited, a review in the March 14 Lancet provides some clues into how people are affected during outbreaks of infectious disease. Researchers evaluated 24 studies looking at the psychological outcomes of people with were quarantined during outbreaks of SARS, H1N1 flu, and Ebola. The study found that many quarantined individuals experienced both short- and long-term mental health issues, including stress, insomnia, emotional exhaustion and substance abuse. Another study looked at the effects of the 2003 SARS outbreak on 549 hospital workers in Beijing.

The study found that many quarantined individuals experienced both short- and longterm mental health issues, including stress, insomnia, emotional exhaustion and substance abuse.

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