The coronavirus has had a substantial economic impact on financial sectors as well as other sensitive businesses including trade, tourism, entertainment, and transportation. This, in turn, impacts a large number of employees and linked businesses. The worst hit has been the lowest-paid workers, and also those who are self-employed or work in the gig economy or in part-time employment with zero-hours agreements. 

As we move into another year of adapting to our current situation, we may feel that the end of dealing with this pandemic is near as vaccines are becoming available. Is this really the end of the Pandemic, or what more is still to come? What will normal look like on the other side and is it something that we want, and we want to do?  Are we going back to normal, as our government leaders are advocating?

As the COVID-19 pandemic starts its second year, new fast-spreading strains have caused a spike in infections and further lockdowns in several countries. The pandemic’s destruction – millions of fatalities, socioeconomic struggle, and extraordinary societal restrictions — has already had a significant impact on people’s mental health. Furthermore, youngsters, rather than elderly people, are particularly sensitive to heightened psychological discomfort, according to studies and surveys performed thus far in the pandemic.  This could be because their need for social engagements is higher, or could simply be that they are locked in, with no outside life, no friends, and not learning the essential life skills associated with socialising. 

With a lot of distress experienced, is it safe to assume that our mental health is not going to be negatively affected and when we get back into public life, how we interact might be changed forever. 

As we’ve been dealing with a variety of issues ranging from physical safety to resuming work from the office, lockdown, and financial recovery packages, we either are unaware of or have overlooked the next massive crisis knocking on our door: a world psychological pandemic. The first phase of the crisis had an impact on physical health; the second phase had an impact on the economy. What if the third is now upon us? Our mental health… and our system is utterly unprepared.