Pandemic: not only Covid is making people sick

The pandemic is also having an indirect negative impact on people's health: from mental health issues caused by social restrictions to a registered excess mortality that has nothing to do with Covid-19 infections. Policymakers need to gain a better understanding of the phenomenon and find ways to deal with it, commentators urge.

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Expresso (PT) /

Other deaths are absent from the narrative

The isolation is just as deadly as the virus, Expresso reminds us:

“In Portugal we had absolutely historic non-Covid mortality spikes in the summer of 2020, when society was flattening the Covid wave. These deaths feature nowhere in the narrative. No one is mourning them. Now, at the beginning of summer 2021 we must ask ourselves: Will the media, politicians and hospitals again ignore the excess mortality if this indicator is based on non-Covid deaths? In San Francisco more people died from excess opiate consumption (caused by stayhome) than from Covid. In Japan more people committed suicide (thanks to stayhome) than died from Covid. What twisted logic.”

Večer (SI) /

More mental health services needed

Večer is most concerned about the younger generation:

“New studies suggest that mental exhaustion will gradually fade when society reopens and social contacts are re-established. ... The problem goes deeper with younger people, however, whose social networks are less well established. ... The data of the Slovenian Institute for Public Heath is shocking and shows that the mental health of young people aged 18 to 29 has worsened dramatically, with up to 25 percent of this age group at risk of developing a depressive disorder. At the very least, society must mitigate the consequences of epidemic-related mental stress by expanding health and counselling networks.”

Der Nordschleswiger (DK) /

Honesty is the first step

The five Danish regions have decided to set up an expert committee to assess the health and mood of citizens in the context of the coronavirus crisis. Der Nordschleswiger welcomes the initiative:

“Whether and to what extent the pandemic has had a lasting impact on our daily lives will probably only become clear over time. ... But that is why it is important that the committee, which includes experts from the health sector, patient organisations and representatives of medical societies, looks into the consequences of the coronavirus crisis. Until the committee has figured out best how to deal with these consequences, we should start by giving an honest answer to the question of how we are doing - at least to ourselves.”