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In the discussion on Wellness through the historical lens, I looked at
the Covid pandemic and what we learned or didn't learn from the
Spanish Flu of 1919. This week I want to look at the COVID pandemic
through the social science lens.
The natural sciences, especially medicine, have dominated the efforts
to beat COVID. The rush for the vaccine rollout, social distancing, and
mask-wearing are all policies from the natural science arena.
However, behind the virus, there are human beings. Social sciences
helped me understand the effects of the pandemic on populations
and can be used to inform policy in the event of future pandemics.
COVID affected different demographics in different ways. Working
from home, for example. Not every profession was able to facilitate
home working. Many on the front line of the pandemic had to
continue going out into the world. Psychology could inform us how
daily contact with possible COVID infection has affected their mental
health. Conversely, for those who had to stay at home, how did their
mental health fair during the lockdown?
Closing schools during the pandemic has had wide-reaching
consequences for society. In a report on COVID and education,
UNESCO has looked at various problems arising from closed schools.
The obvious one is a disruption in education; however, schools
provide more than education. They provide an essential social
network for children, and a necessary routine, especially for children
with learning difficulties. Moreover, children who rely on free or
discounted meals suffer poor nutrition and are at a higher risk of
violence and abuse(UNESCO).
The impact of closing schools during the pandemic has broader
implications than the mental health and education disruption of the
students. In addition, younger children forced to remain at home
economically impact parents, who may miss work to supply childcare.
This forced absence was a massive problem in essential services such
as transport and healthcare (UNESCO). COVID has posed the
"greatest threat to mental health since the Second World War"
(Sample, 2020). President of The Royal College of Psychiatrists, Dr.
Adrian James, says of COVID, "a combination of the disease, its social
consequences and the economic fallout were having a profound
effect on mental health that would continue long after the epidemic is
reined in" (Sample, 2020). Looking at COVID through the 8
Dimensions of Wellness (Garcia), it undoubtedly affects every
dimension, which is overwhelming. Looking at the pandemic from
more than one lens is invaluable because of how many different
aspects of life it affected at the time and continues to impact today.
Garcia, C (2015) What Are The Eight Dimensions of Wellness in Your
Life, Colorado Nurse, retrieved Aug 3rd, 2022 https://eds-p-
ebscohost-
com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=0&sid=b2b2faa4-c185-
49c0-8300-
e1a080bbd9f8%40redis&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2Nvc
GU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=103763107&db=ccm
Sample, I (27 Dec, 2020) Covid poses 'greatest threat to mental
health since Second World War II, retrieved 3rd Aug, 2022
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/dec/27/covid-poses-
greatest-threat-to-mental-health-since-second-world-war
a
UNESCO (2021) Adverse Consequences of School Closures
Retrieved 3rd Aug 2022,
https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse/consequences
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