Covid-19 has caused a massive change in our lives. As the world grappled with the reset in 2020, people were confined at home and were forced to work at home (for some employees). In just six months, 13,876,441 people were infected and 593,087 lost their lives in 216 countries including territories. This had brought a different kind of fear. Indeed, it impacted the mental health of everyone because of certain reasons:
● The fear of getting infected with the virus:
A lot of people across the globe had this baffling fear of contracting the virus. At the start of the lockdown, people went into panic buying. As a result, most became hoarders at the supermarket, especially disinfectants and sanitizers. Despite the strict observance of physical distancing, most remained scared of contracting Covid-19 despite the use of a face mask and face shield.
● The uncertainty of when the virus would be controlled as well the vaccines back then:
Sleepless nights were experienced by a lot of people. The fear of uncertainty added stress to people because even governments could not give the assurance when would the virus be contained. As the death toll rose in different countries, more people experienced anxiety and depression.
● The economic loss caused by the pandemic; massive lay-offs across the globe were caused by the down in the economy during the pandemic:
A lot of businesses had shut down because of the pandemic. Operations were minimized and the movement of people was lessened, Essentials were scrutinized up to the most necessary items. Thus, it caused the shutdown of most businesses and establishments that did not fall under the category of essentials.
● The pandemic as a big stressor all in all:
The massive changes created by the pandemic have given psychological distress to the people. Imagine having a reset in just a week. You still got plans of surfing in the Bahamas or partying in the Maldives when suddenly the government would announce a lockdown. Across the globe, people found it difficult to live a normal life again.
Sadly, not all people were able to handle the stress caused by the pandemic. Last September 2020, it was reported online the mental health problems caused by the pandemic. According to the review, the depression and anxiety that were affected by a lot of people during the lockdown were taken on a different note by other people; in some reported cases, some people committed suicide because they could not bear pressure brought by the pandemic.
In actuality, more American adults experienced symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder. The following figure was recorded from December 9-21, 2020 the first holiday where the usual family gathering was not celebrated because of the pandemic. In the said report, 42.4% of people have had symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder. These findings were recorded by the Household Pulse Survey after they have interviewed 60,000 Americans. This may also show that more people were severely affected by the pandemic. The economic impact of Covid-19 worsened the situation plus the uncertainty and the fear of acquiring the virus even when at home. Despite the social distance, people felt scared and uncertain.
Now, as vaccines have already been developed, there is hope. Most establishments were back to normal and businesses resumed operations. However, it is still undeniable that a lot of things have changed over the past year. That fear from the people could not easily be erased. It is indeed inevitable especially for those who have no choice but to leave the comforts of their homes and go to the office. This anxiety could somehow affect the performance of the worker because:
● The Effects of the pandemic had brought trauma to everyone.
● It's not easy to adjust to a new work setting again.
With this, people who experience this need help and consideration. They must be given the understanding that they need as they cope with the effects of the pandemic so they would be able to get back on track and work efficiently. So, if you'd encounter colleagues who are like this, it is better to:
● Re-assure that someone would be willing to listen.
● Help them bring back the confidence they need.
● Re-assure that everything will be okay and it's okay to acknowledge the pain that they are going through.
If this would happen, everyone would feel safe and the anxiety or fear that they feel would be eased. Yes, not all businesses may be able to do the appropriate intervention because that will mean another expense but as they say, strength begets strength, hence if this will be done among the employees then it will be nicer if:
● Each employee would be encouraged to share experiences during the lockdown. Allow them to gather strength from each other by opening up about how they felt during the lockdown.
● Employees would be granted financial aid as they get back on track. We all know that it would be difficult to do this but there are other ways to gather funds so an employee would be able to help his staff member get back on his feet.
● Stress debriefing would be done through training or seminar where an expert would be there to give the employees professional help so they could surpass anxiety and depression.
This is something challenging both for the employees and employers. This is because not all people have the same tolerance for anxiety or depressive symptoms. Some find it difficult to express their feelings and they divert these into different ways that affect their performance at work. This may be challenging but with empathy and consideration to people, challenges would be surpassed as a team.
Another way of helping our employees overcome the challenge of the pandemic is to make them feel safe and healthy. Making them work in a conducive workplace could help them feel physically in-synch. As a result, this may help them focus more at work and the production would be enhanced. Employers may provide the workers with office equipment that is built using an ergonomic system that would not just make them feel safe but would also give them sufficient lumbar support and spine protection. With this, employees could always rely on Flexispot
for the best ergo chairs. These products are made with flexibility and absolute comfort that gives out protection to employees who would render a 9-5 job in the office. With this valuable product, the work and service that would be rendered would be above and beyond. This would also ensure that all employees could feel safe amidst the challenges of this pandemic.