TW: Suicidal ideation.
Rita (name changed) is a homemaker, living with her in-laws and two sons. Life was smooth sailing until the rise of the pandemic and the lockdown. Her problem started when her husband, due to the lockdown, stayed home and wanted to assist his wife with the household jobs. But, whenever he did anything, his mom would stop him from doing so, saying, “You are the man of this house. No man in our house has done household work, and what will your two sons do?”
This way he stopped helping with the housework and Rita was left to do all the work alone. He never had the guts to contradict his mom. Her mother-in-law’s tantrums were no less and to manage without helo became tough for her. Slowly she started living in her shell. At last, she wasn’t able to tolerate it, and she called up at the Befrienders organization. This happened at a time she was trying to look for an easy way out to kill herself.
This isn’t a lone case. Usually, it’s a woman who suffers the most, but the COVID-19 lockdown has not spared anyone. Job loss, schools closed, elders at home, nowhere to go, no outdoor games, and much more— eventually life has come to a standstill.
Here the problem begins. For a few days, it had been wonderful but then the family’s never-ending demands led to much burden on people at home. Savings plummeting rapidly, children getting lazy and watching movies—matters got worse.
It was the beginning of the worst scenario after three months of the lockdown. Many people had been sacked due to demands dropping. People started spending less due to the partial lockdown. Many businesses closed down, fuel prices went down, the economic growth of countries slowed down. In between, vegetables too perished due to the non-availability of transportation.
Slowly, this took a heavy toll on people who had to stress over their day-to-day survival, isolation, issues like repaying the loan taken by way of paying monthly EMIs. Matters went beyond control and the situation turned from and to worse.
What also followed was fear and insecurity due to rapidly increasing cases, the non-availability of beds in hospitals, of people and health workers dying due to COVID-19. Then the cases started increasing in huge numbers, and the death rate displayed on news channels led to fear amongst people. This has also manifested into psychological problems. For instance, most of them became obsessed with the thought of pandemic and future security of their family members.
Life came to a standstill as buses stopped plying, people spent only on necessities, which brought down other businesses. No religious activity, no social outings, no travelling made people bored and frustrated them, and the mental health issues started opening up. People needed someone to listen to them, therefore helplines were flooded 24×7 with calls and e-mails.
Life during the pandemic and the lockdown has drastically affected mental health for most of the people, I feel more due to the twists and turns in our lifestyles.