Author: KM Thomas
I Year | National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi
The fight against Covid-19 continues unabated in the country. The third wave of the coronavirus has established its strong foothold in India. Lockdown and the death of loved ones have had a short-term as well as long-term psychological impact on people.
Such incidents have also affected citizens’ standards of living. Thus, we must address this issue to find the ill impacts that this deadly virus has left on people’s lives. This article focuses on the impact of the novel pandemic on two groups—students and professionals.
Psychological Impacts of Covid:
The first Covid-19 case in India was confirmed in January 2020 . Since then, the country’s entire population has been under stress. People are facing problems like depression, anxiety attacks, and other psychological problems. School and college-going students are worst affected by Covid-19 as they are prone to various psychological crises at this vulnerable age. Working professionals are also under financial stress due to the lack of job opportunities. Moreover, employers have reduced the salaries of employees because of their financial crunches amidst the pandemic.
Problems faced by Students:
The leading cause for the mental trauma of students is the lack of balance between college/school and social life. The lockdown and covid restrictions have curbed social interactions which have affected student’s life. Students must attend online classes due to the strict attendance guidelines imposed by the college authorities. They don’t take into consideration the problems that the students face.
A student from a reputed law university in our country had to attend classes while he was on the ventilator. Sadly that student succumbed to Covid 19 . This example highlights the mental pressure on a student even on the death bed.
Another problem that adds up to the students’ stress is the provision of strict deadlines in educational institutions for various tasks and assignments. In the current scenario, most of the students or their relatives are Covid positive, hence they need to take care of their loved ones.
In such situations, it is pressing, both mentally and physically, for students to continue with their academic studies. It is high time that the college and school authorities start paying attention to the mental needs of the students. Their wellness is important as the students are the future of the country.
Problems faced by Working Professionals:
Working professionals are another group of people facing mental trauma and stress during these times. Many of them have opted for work from home due to lockdowns & other restrictions. This has led to an imbalance between their personal and professional life. Also, they go through pay cuts, while some even go through situations where their salaries are withheld. These financial constraints also exacerbate the stress levels, which in turn, affect the employees’ productivity, and that in turn affects the company’s profitability. Employees are also under constant fear of losing their jobs.
The country’s economy has been crippled due to Covid-19 lockdowns  and other factors. Many companies were forcibly closed, due to which their employees became jobless. During the pre-covid era, people could venture out of their countries, searching for jobs when there was a shortage of jobs in their home country. However, now the situation has changed. Most countries have closed their borders. These are a few of the many factors which cause stress and trauma for working-class people.
The Way Forward:
The best way to help students abate mental trauma and stress is by making a mandatory provision for schools to appoint a counsellor. Another solution is to make student groups on an online platform, where the students can discuss their problems and worries. The students can discuss with each other the best solutions to one another’s problems in the group. If the problem is beyond their help, then the students can seek the help of counsellors.
One solution to deal with the problems faced by the working class is to issue a mandate by the government that every company should retain the existing employees. If the companies cannot do so, the government must intervene by providing these companies with a loan at subsidized rates. Another solution is that the government should make policies to ensure that employers pay their employees on time.
Suggestions to Fight Covid and Stress:
Now, for the solution to the stress caused by lack of adequate job opportunities, the government should start a portal which would enable everyone to be aware of new job vacancies. To cope with the mental stress of employees currently working due to job pressure, the government should issue a mandate that requires companies to appoint counsellors. For those employees whose companies cannot afford to appoint a counsellor, the government can appoint a common counsellor for a group of companies.
These times are indeed pressing for everyone, and it is pretty understandable for everyone to have psychological trauma and mental breakdown. One should try to reach out to their loved ones to cope up with the trauma. We should keep hope, these times will also pass.
 Bindu Shajan Perappadan, India’s first coronavirus infection confirmed in Kerala, The Hindu [May 27, 2021], https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indias-first-coronavirus-infection-confirmed-in-kerala/article30691004.ece
 Guest, Law students and professors died of Covid. Time for tough measures., Legally India, [ May 13, 2021], https://www.legallyindia.com/convos/topic/165798-law-students-and-professors-died-of-covid-time-for-tough-measures
 Express Web Desk, A forgettable 2020: How Covid lockdown crippled Indian economy, The Indian Express, [May 27, 2021], https://indianexpress.com/article/business/economy/indian-economy-covid-19-lockdown-7113477/
Editor: Khushi Sharma