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Sustainability in a Pandemic: Articles
A bibliography of sources concerning how the pandemic is impacting us in emotional/social issues with children in school, anxiety and depression, child/spousal abuse due to isolation, stress from financial issues as well as the environmental impact
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a worldwide disruption. Most people have never witnessed such a global threat, and the world’s leaders have not dealt with a crisis of this magnitude; moreover, Research & Innovation (R&I) teams have little time to invent new pharmaceutical therapies. Nations are trying to implement controlling strategies for avoiding significant losses, but this pandemic has already imprinted itself upon their citizens’ psyche, created social anxiety, and disrupted national economies. The complexity of the psychological, social, and economic interrelations of this new source of stress cannot be appropriately understood by scientific reductionism and specialised thinking only. It needs to be considered how the current pandemic links to questions of ecological sustainability and resilience. Further, we must rethink the complex interactions of human-nature health that drove the crisis, as proof of an unsustainable human civilisation
Publication Date: Varma, J. (2020). Younger people are more vulnerable to stress, anxiety and depression during COVID-19 pandemic: A global cross-sectional survey. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 110236–110236. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pnpbp.2020.110236
The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-ranging consequences for general physical and mental health. Country-specific research reveals a general reduction in mental and physical well-being, due to measures undertaken to stop the spread of COVID-19 disease. However, research is yet to examine the impact of the pandemic on global psychological distress and its effects upon vulnerable groups. Exploration of the factors that potentially mediate the relationship between stress and mental health during this period is needed, to assist in undertaking concrete measures to mitigate psychological distress and support vulnerable groups. Therefore, this study examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on psychological distress globally, and identified factors that may exacerbate decline in mental health. N = 1653 participants (mean age 42.90 ± 13.63 years; 30.3% males) from 63 countries responded to the survey. Depression and anxiety were assessed using the Patient Health Questionnaire and State Trait Anxiety Inventory, respectively. Other measures included the Perceived Stress Scale, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, 3-item UCLA Loneliness Scale and the Brief Resilient Coping Scale. Globally, consistently high levels of stress, anxiety, depression and poor sleep were observed regardless of number of COVID-19 cases. Over 70% of the respondents had greater than moderate levels of stress, with 59% meeting the criteria for clinically significant anxiety and 39% reporting moderate depressive symptoms. People with a prior mental health diagnosis experienced greater psychological distress. Poor sleep, lower levels of resilience, younger age and loneliness significantly mediated the links between stress and depression, and stress and anxiety. Age-based differences revealed that younger age-groups were more vulnerable to stress, depression and anxiety symptoms. Results show that vulnerable individuals, particularly younger age groups need more support. Age-specific interventions for modifiable factors that mediate the psychological distress need to urgently deployed to address the global mental health pandemic.
Publication Date: Shader, R. (2020). COVID-19 and Depression. Clinical Therapeutics, 42(6), 962–963. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinthera.2020.04.010
The COVID-19 pandemic embodies overwhelming stresses—unemployment, death, and isolation, among others. When called upon, clinicians must try to sort out demoralization from depression. This commentary discerns the characteristics of demoralization versus depression, and suggests solutions for both, together with a cautionary word on the use chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in patients with COVID-19.