With orders pertaining to social distancing still in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many people have begun to fear the consequences. Social distancing might have severe health effects the longer it is drawn out, according to mental health experts. Although social distancing is needed for the time being showing that it is slowing/stopping the spread of COVID-19, will the result in health effects be worth the costs?
Stay At Home & Social Distancing
Due to the growing of the pandemic, 145,000 cases in the US, across the country restaurants, schools, and other businesses have been shut down completely, with stay-at-home orders put in place. The means to prevent the spread might be causing more damage. Social distancing might have severe health effects, as impactful as things we would never recommend for a person to stay healthy. “for some people, a lack of social connectedness feels as impactful as not eating,” says Joshua Morganstein, a psychiatrist and disaster mental health expert at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Md.
Social Distancing Health Effects
We have limited research on the current social distancing orders due to COVID-19. There is however research from previous quarantined people from outbreaks of SARS, H1N1 flu, Ebola and other infectious diseases since the early 2000s. Many of those who went through similar situations experienced short & long term mental health issues. This included emotional exhaustion, insomnia, substance abuse, and stress. Those who quarantined during an influenza outbreak of 2,760 quarantined people, 34 percent reported psychological distress. Those quarantined in the 2003 SARS break out found similar results, with half of a sample size reporting high levels of alcohol abuse compared to those who had less intense exposure.
How To Keep In Touch During Social Distancing
The Coronavirus poses risk to all, but especially elders and those with underlying medical conditions. Stay connected to others without feeling the full weight of social distancing. Stay in touch with others whether it be a text message, phone call or even using the advance tech we have today such as facetime, skype, or zoom can help you stay close. Humans weren’t made to be solitary creatures. Use best-practice methods to stay in touch while considering those around you until we beat COVID-19.