Increasing depression amongst Covid-19 patients is more fatal than the virus: Writes Sr author Salil Gewali

When uncertainty and worries come calling, the body’s immune system tends to crash. But contrastingly, one believes, COVID-19 is fought only with better immunity. It’s an accepted fact that due to the pandemic, the large majority of the weaker section of people are in the most difficult situation. Their financial hardship is beyond our understanding. Each poor person is now in a situation that he/ she has very a painful tale to tell so far as his/her day-to-day livelihood is concerned. Therefore, people in poverty might feel totally lost and disoriented when they are suddenly picked up and sent for the quarantine away from home.

I don’t want to dwell much on the medical formalities which I find less important here. But what one is really concerned about is the “psychological” aspect of people and how that really affects their immune system while battling the Wuhan virus.

Many families’ members I have met with have expressed their deep sense of “grief” when their breadwinners or family members are taken away or asked for immediate isolation. The poor persons in the isolation have a whole load of family worries, more precisely, about whether the family is able to get the two-time meals and other basic essentials for their children and wives.

Practically there is no one to “support” their family members when they are in quarantine or at COVID care centers. They also don’t have enough space at home for quarantine as the family members live in one or two rooms. These all factors add to their anxieties in many ways. So, in this worrying situation, they obviously have a “low level” of immunity, with the exception of a few rare cases. I wish the Government to look into the “psychological aspect” of an individual/patient. Truly, the physical metabolism and immune system of a human body go down when one is psychologically “depressed”.

A resident of Meghalaya laments – “Due to quarantine isolation my aged father, who had returned from Kolkata, experienced deep depression which consequently gave rise to other health complications.  Thankfully, he was in-home quarantine, and we could immediately call a private doctor for the other treatment and anxiety counseling.”  What if that aged person were taken far away from home for the quarantine? Many unfortunate things could have been possible.  Covid-19 “negative” could have been “positive” next day, and thereafter deterioration of health due to isolation depression and then directly to the crematorium — without any contacts with the beloved family members!  This is a regular phenomenon now.

Well, if we do not take the potential traumatic aspect of an individual’s mental status into account then all our arrangement and mission to fight the virus “without vaccines” is totally inadequate and farcical. This is my personal observation. Hence, with all seriousness, I appeal to the Governments, health authorities and medical experts to take the “mental health aspect” of any individual in quarantine or Covid Care Center into consideration. With the fatality is increasing by the day, the consequence ahead could be more serious.  COVID, coupled with “depression” and the loss of immunity, can easily take a toll on the entire humanity.

A Shillong-based writer and researcher, Salil Gewali is best known for his research-based work of twenty-four years entitled "Great Minds on India" which has already earned worldwide appreciation. Translated into twelve languages and dedicated to the NATION, his "Great Minds on India" has been prefaced by a world-acclaimed NASA Chief scientist – Dr. Kamlesh Lulla of Houston, and edited by another former NASA scientist Prof. A.V. Murali, Texas, USA. "Great Minds on India" can be previewed at: ** Also available on AMAZON