Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a health crisis in the world. After the first reported case of COVID-19 disease in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, it rapidly spread across the globe in a short duration of time. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the Coronavirus infection a pandemic.
A surge of patients leads to the emergence of a wave of COVID-19 infection. During the first and second waves, deaths and disabilities are extensive. The virus is continuously undergoing mutation. The new variant omicron has caused a spike in Covid patients recently. Rapid transmission of the omicron variant has led the world into the third wave.
During each wave of COVID-19, many governments have put restrictions in their countries. Though these restrictions were necessary, they had some negative implications on the lives of the masses. Not only financial, but the pandemic has caused severe health implications.
Let us discuss these implications in detail.
Effects on children
During the first and second waves, even now in the third wave, COVID-19 has massively affected our children. Some of these impacts are:
- Most of the schools and colleges remained shut, leading to homeschooling and online classes of children. Since not all children can afford gadgets for online education, it results in the loss of their education.
- Continuous staying at home during the lockdown negatively impacted the socio-psychological development of children.
- Because of the pandemic, many children lost their family members, which is an emotional setback.
- Reduced physical activity during lockdown coupled with an unhealthy lifestyle caused weight gain and other health issues.
- During the lockdown, adults and children stayed at home, causing dissociation with friends and other family members.
- The usage of social media and video games has also increased during the pandemic. It has negatively impacted the physical and mental well-being of the people.
- According to recent studies, new mutants of the Coronavirus are very transmissible, causing higher infections. The children are also susceptible to developing COVID-19. Earlier many believed that children would not get COVID-19 infection. But during all three waves, we have seen many children getting hospitalized because of Covid.
Effect on adults
COVID-19 pandemic comes in waves with various after-effects on human health and society. It has brought many problems in our lives like financial breakdown, decreased physical activity, decreased social activity, altered sleeping patterns, mental health issues, and overall general health issues after COVID-19 infection. Let us discuss some of these issues.
- COVID-19 pandemic hit the economy very hard. Unemployment, pay cuts, and closure of small businesses during pandemics have led to extreme financial crises. Many people lost their life savings during the pandemic.
- Stay-at-home orders during restrictions resulted in a substantial increase in sedentary lifestyle changes. A decline in physical activity may lead to many health issues like obesity, muscle and joint stiffness, bone issues, abnormal blood sugar levels, blood pressure issues, and many more.
- Quarantine and social distancing measures have lessened the transmission of Coronavirus infection. On the other hand, these measures have evoked feelings of loneliness and isolation, further leading to stress, anxiety, anger, despair, and depression. Some studies have shown that substance use has also increased during the pandemic.
- Stress can further worsen pre-existing chronic health problems like blood pressure, heart problems, and mental problems.
- Insomnia has also emerged as a concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stress-related sleep deprivation is not only because of the virus infection. Changes in the physical and mental state due to the pandemic are also responsible for insomnia.
- Sleep disruption accompanied by anxiety developed a change in eating habits like more snack breaks and gorging on sweets, which leads to weight gain and other metabolism-related problems.
- Coronavirus infection is primarily a respiratory disease, but it may affect other organs also.
- Patients recovering from COVID-19 infection can also have long-term effects like breathlessness, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, chest pain, sleep deprivation, impaired lung functions.
- Patients with mild infection of COVID-19 infection generally recover without any after complication. Severe COVID-19 can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pneumonia which can be fatal for the infected person.
- COVID-19 may develop blood clots in the infected ones. These clots can cause serious conditions, like heart attack and brain stroke. They can also affect other organs like the lungs, legs, liver, and kidneys.
- Pre-existing conditions like asthma, heart problems, and diabetes can increase the severity of COVID-19.
A commonality between all waves of Covid is that they all have posed an equal threat to our health. But always remember, with measures like social distancing, vaccination, and proper hygiene practices, we can control their impact on our lives.
Dr. Navneet Sood, Clinical Lead and Senior Consultant– Pulmonology, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi