While the start of 2020 was glimmering with hopes of new beginnings, just 5 months into the year, the reality we’re faced with is immensely different than what was anticipated. What started as a pneumonia like disease in the city of Wuhan, China, soon developed into something much more. The disease started to spread to various parts of China and gradually dug it’s claws into almost every country of the world forcing lockdowns everywhere. Till date, it has taken the lives of nearly 4 million people all across the globe, and we are nowhere near overcoming or combating it as stated by top researchers. While the development of a vaccine seems a year or 18 months away, if not all, most people have taken it upon themselves to practice social distancing and good hygiene. Quarantining at homes and self-isolation has become a primary approach in tackling the spread of the virus. Maintaining good physical health is becoming a priority for humans everywhere, a slight cough or change in temperature is taken seriously, which is excellent as far as prevention goes.

However, physical health is not the only thing being influenced by this deadly virus. Self-isolation and home quarantining have definitely taken a toll on people’s mental health as well. While staying at home with schools and offices closed may seem like living your dream life at first, it can very quickly start becoming difficult to deal with. Humans, being social animals, need social interaction to function optimally. Even the most introverted out of us need to get out of the house at some point. The most affected, I believe, are the ones living with people who may be emotional or physical abusers, and those who live entirely on their own.

Home abuse has existed for years all over the world, but in countries like Pakistan it is often neglected and the mere thought of it is frowned upon. Even in the highest classes of the society, some form of abuse does occur. The people facing such excruciating circumstances look for an escape, and often that escape comes from their schools or jobs. An opportunity to get out of the house and away from the people who might be harmful for their physical and mental health. But now that all educational institutes and most offices and businesses are closed, they are forced to stay confined with the people who may have abusive tendencies. The frustration of staying at home all day may even provoke the calmest out of us to act out of anger. Statistics have most definitely shown an increase in domestic violence all over the world.

On the other hand, people quarantining entirely on their own are not in an ideal situation as well. Being alone with your own thoughts, for long periods of time, can bring anyone to the point of hysteria. It is important that such people have someone other than family, preferably a therapist, to talk and discuss any mental health related issues with.

We, as humanity, are facing difficult times and the only way through is to go through them together. Not meeting with family and friends on a daily basis does not mean we can’t talk to them. People need each other more than ever. If you know anyone struggling in any way, mentally or physically, help them out. If you know someone who has experienced abuse in the past and think these times maybe troubling for them, reach out to them. If you know a family member or friend who is quarantining away from their loved ones, check up on them. A little does always go a long way. May we get out of this stronger than ever.