IMPACT OF COVID19 ON MENTAL HEALTH AND HOW TO COPE WITH IT
1. Back ground
2. The impact of covid19 to the economy3
3. The impact of covid19 to politics
4. The impact of covid19 mentally
5. Impact of covid19 to the Rwandan society
6. How the government of Rwanda is fighting against covid19
7. The challenges that the government of Rwanda meet while fighting against covid19
8. Impact of covid19 to our cultural
9.Impact of lock down on people with mental disability
Covid19 (corona virus) is a pandemic that attacks our world in both developing and developed countries of the world. its first case was seen in WUHAN city in china around 2019 in September. it continued to spread up around other nations and it killed a lot of people this covid19 also lead to the decrease of many countries economy, lock downs of many countries, the closures of many public and private assets and its led to the mental disability to many people in many ways. This pandemic has many symptoms like: coughing, coldness, sneezing and oxygen shortage. This virus can be transferred from one people to another by shaking their hands, kissing, touching the areas around your face with unwashed hands. we can prevent the spread of this pandemic by washing our hands with cleaned water and soap, sanitizing our hands, keeping at least one meter between two people and cover our mouth with proper masks. This pandemic has many mental impacts and ways to cope its. in this article, I am going to show the mental impact of this covid19 as well as the ways of coping up with it.
Firstly, this pandemic has led to the decrease of economy in many nations by buying the proper materials to be used when taking care of sick people, many public and private works have been closed during the lockdown and this led to the greatest loss. Some developed countries had a task to help the undeveloped countries to get the ways of buying materials to use while fighting this covid19 for example like; we all know our country has been helped by USAID to help the Rwandan students to use E-learning program ( Rwanda broadcasting agency/ RBA) and we also know that our country spent around 60million $ in those last four months to fight against covid19 ( www.igihe.com).its also led to the increase of poverty in our hometown as well as in our families and this led to the mental disability known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD),which is caused by worrying about things like health ,money or family problems.(www.nimh.nih.gov )
Secondly, covid19 affected politics in high level like we know that many powerful politicians have suffered from this pandemic like some prime ministers and presidents and also many political meetings have been cancelled in order to avoid the spread of the pandemic like we all know our country was supposed to welcome a national meeting of politicians and businessmen from the countries that use French language but it was cancelled because of this covid19
Thirdly, this pandemic has some special and unique impact about mental health ,as we know there is a disease known as post-traumatic stress disorder and this disease affects the brain and emotion of person who survived some terrible histories like wars and pandemics where they start to see and feel things which are not there some people who survived the pandemic suffered from this disease where they start to see how their beloved ones died and how they suffered which means that they have post-traumatic stress disorder because of the covid19 pandemic
An other idea, this covid19 pandemic especially affected our mother land in many ways. us we all know from March until now all schools and university of our country are closed and because of that many students especially girls are suffering from unwanted pregnancies, others have been raped by their own relatives and according to mental health when a child is raped not only her health is damaged physically but also mentally where someone who has been raped can gets a depression, aggression, and self –injurious behaviors. It also affects our country by the decrease of the economy due to the closure of some public work and other works that offer our country with great benefits like tourism and international trading.
Additionally, our country did a great job to fight against this pandemic where they helped the students to learn by using internet by creating a program known as E-learning program which is found on the website of Rwanda Education Board(REB) known as www.reb.com. They also created a way where people can get goods online in order to help people to stay at home. some of those websites, we have www.catchyz.com where you can buy and sell your goods you can also search for work or workers via that website. Our country also did a great job by closing the boards of most attacked districts and set also time on which each and every Rwandan must be at home. The government also put charges on those people who don’t want to follow rulers and measures and this decreased the number of new cases our country also helped the people with some mental disability to meet with their psychologist by providing them easy ways of travelling from their home to the hospitals.
Further more, our government still meet the challenges while fighting against covid19 pandemic where some people don’t want to follow measures that have been placed by the government and some big cases have found on people who still don’t want to be at their homes at the placed time. all those who still don’t want to wear masks in proper way. Some people also still organize un important voyages and some don’t want to maintain social distancing and they don’t understand the use of hand sanitizers and the other cases that our government still facing is that a lot of people fear the police than they fear the pandemic which is not right.
More over, covid19 affected our culture as we all know as Rwandans we used to greet each other with hugs and joy and now we can’t do it. We used also to share foods and drinks as (umuganura festival) but this year, it has been cancelled in order to avoid the spread of this pandemic this also led to the depression because as we all know the history of our country we were supposed to commemorate our beloved ones who lost their lives during genocide against Tutsi but we didn’t do it well as we used to do it. so this led to the depression of some who lost their beloved and important people when they saw that nobody was there to console and help them physically.
As last but not least , lock down periods highly affected people with mental disability like we all know that there are some people who lives because other people advised them those who needs to see the psychologist to be advised by them .they are also other people who feel well when he or she is with other peoples so during the lockdown they didn’t get the chance to meet with other people some didn’t even get the chance to see their psychologist as usual this led to the increase of those people sickness as well as death of some who killed themselves not because they hate their lives but because they couldn’t control their life situation by themselves.
By sum up, this covid19 pandemic is a serious virus which is spread quickly when people shake their hands, when they kiss, when they are together without keeping social distancing, without wearing their masks or when they don’t wash their hands it also had many impact on our mental health. So, it’s our time to fight against it by following all measures as mentioned and help those who finished up with mental disabilities due to the pandemic and together we can, because your safety is my safety.
As recommendations, I can ask all fellow Rwandans to help our government to fight against covid19 pandemic by following all measure that have been placed by the government, and I encourage them to use internet while buying and selling their goods and in payments as well. and please help those who end up with mental disabilities by healing and consoling them. So please if you mention that you have some of symptoms mentioned above, please call the free number 114 and they will take care of you. thanks.
- Oli Health Magazine Organization (OHMO) who gave us time to share our ideas with all Rwandans while fighting against this pandemic.
-My gratitude to my friend ALICE for sharing me this link.
-My family and all friends for your great support in many ways.
-Ministry of Health of Rwanda (MOH). Instructions for covid19 Screening at Points of Entry(POE)
-Gallup Wellcome Global Monitor :How Does the World Feel about Trust and Health?
-World Bank. The World Bank in Rwanda.
https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/rwanda. Accessed on 18th August,2020
-online classified marketplace in Rwanda
-Mental health assessments
Writer : HABUMUGISHA KABIHOGO Line from Ecole des Sciences de Musanze