Major Public Health Concerns Aggravated by the Covid-19 Pandemic

man in hazmat suit holding water

One year later, we are still living in the new normal. Health experts have already told us to expect the pandemic to last for a few more years. The threat of the crisis is not going away soon. Despite the rollouts of vaccines against the virus, many people’s lives continue to suffer after the pandemic. Due to this, numerous public health concerns continue to surge in numbers each day.

The different health and safety measures may have helped reduce the spread of the virus. But this also posed unintended repercussions such as the following major health concerns.

Alcohol Misuse/Addiction

One common problem many people are now facing is alcohol addiction. Even before these trying times, many find themselves having an alcohol problem. They have different triggers, which often lead to their drinking problem.

When the pandemic happened, people became more stressed out. Some lost their livelihood, while others felt more isolated. Others even found more reasons to skip going to an alcohol rehab facility.

Even if many facilities offer outpatient services, some opted to skip their sessions. They either have no energy to do or money to afford such services. Since they are staying at home and are feeling more stressed, they found drinking to be their coping mechanism.

Alcohol misuse and addiction led to other problems. Those with existing mental health issues like depression and anxiety found themselves more unstable than ever. Others with existing medical conditions are currently having a hard time recuperating due to their failure to control their alcohol consumption.

Drug Overdose

Fatal drug overdose cases decreased in 2018. But then, the number of people overdosing from different substances reached a record high. More people are using drugs as a way of coping with the pandemic.

The spikes in drug overdose deaths are mostly due to opioid abuse. More people are getting their hands on drugs to cope with stress and emotions. The crisis disrupted their routines, which is one thing that helped them with their substance abuse problem.

Lockdowns made it impossible for people to go to their regular treatment sessions. Some drug rehabilitation sites are offering online sessions to help patients while quarantining. But then, some chose to skip their virtual appointments.

dark hospital hallway

Mental Health

The pandemic took a toll on everyone’s mental health. One might think they are thriving during the crisis. But at some levels, their mental health is affected.

Some are more anxious than they were before the crisis. They might be lucky enough to stay healthy and retain their source of income. But the fear of them getting the virus and their other loved ones getting infected and dying made them almost always on their toes.

Some people are more depressed because of the pandemic. They either lost a loved one or are among the millions of people who experienced getting sick because of the virus. For some, social distancing, isolation, and working from home caused them to fall deeper into depression.

Experts agree that social distancing and isolation have devastating consequences on a patient’s mental health. Not being able to be with their loved ones physically made recuperating a more difficult task. Staying indoors more often made it easier to adopt unhealthy habits, which also impacts their mental health.

Sleep Changes

Another common health issue many people are facing nowadays is sleep changes. Some people find it extremely hard to fall asleep at night. One can associate this with their lifestyle change.

As we spend more time indoors, it is easy to succumb to a sedentary lifestyle. People no longer treat exercising, preparing healthy meals, and engaging in self-care as priorities. Instead, fast food, binge-watching, and staying up late became part of their daily lives.

More people started working from home after their companies chose a remote work setup. Since many people are used to working in a traditional office environment, they found it hard to adjust. With the different distractions and temptations found at home, they found themselves working longer hours, thus disrupting their sleep schedule.

One’s fear of getting the virus and their loved ones getting sick keeps some people up at night. They end up sleeping during the wee hours of the night and waking up late. The cycle continues, and they feel tired even after sleeping more.

People who are depressed are either sleeping more or are having trouble staying asleep. Failure to get a good night’s rest can impact your mood, health, and emotions the next day. Even if they are sleeping most of the time, they have a hard time functioning the next day.

These are but examples of public health issues common during the pandemic. Everyone must try to keep themselves physically and mentally healthy during the crisis. Although unintended, these health problems can negatively impact one’s quality of life.


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