The control of COVID-19 by the Beijing authority’s extreme measures has brought about serious disasters. The mainland Weekly Caixin recently reported that on June 1, Shanghai restored normal production and living order. However, on that same day, there was a long queue outside the Shanghai Mental Health Center in Xuhui District and Jing’an District.
Earlier on April 21, NetEase showed a video of a long queue outside the Shanghai Mental Health Center, which went viral on WeChat.
A reporter from Shangguan News interviewed Wang Yong, director of the center’s outpatient department. Mr. Wang said: “This video was recorded on Monday. That day, nearly 1,200 people came to receive medicine, so there was a long queue. Monday is usually a day with a large number of people coming to have a mental health examination. Nearly 900 people came last Monday … During the epidemic, Shanghai’s communities implemented self-contained management, and many patients ran out of medicine. As psychiatric drugs cannot be interrupted and current logistics are not smooth enough, patients must be dispensed offline according to relevant regulations or ask volunteers and family members to give them medicine.
Mr. Wang continued: “It cannot be denied that staying at home and self-contained management in the community has had a definite impact on the mental health of some patients, thus there has been a strong demand for the dispensing of medicines.”
Shanghai is full of “crazy” controls that make people go insane?
On July 4, the mainland financial media outlet Caixin analyzed that the period of Shanghai’s lockdown caused a severe psychological shock. The article quoted public health experts and psychiatrists. It exposed the prolonged extreme lockdown has left countless irreversible consequences such as bankruptcy, unemployment, drastic income decrease, children dropping out of school, prolonged starvation, and violent outbreaks. In addition, there was humiliation and discrimination when isolated. Furthermore, after suffering from the Beijing regime’s epidemic prevention and control policy, people in Shanghai were mentally depressed, and the physical and mental outpatient clinics were overcrowded.
Also, in Caixin’s article, Mr. Zhou Zhou, Branch Secretary of Jing’an-Shanghai District Mental Health Center, said that in just two days, June 1 and 2, the number of outpatients at the center had increased, exceeding the usual number of outpatient visits. In addition, the Shanghai Mental Health Center online registration platform also shows that the psychological counseling appointment time frame from June 21 to June 26 is fully booked.
According to the report, the loss of lives and material and emotional damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can cause depression. Anxiety is how people react to uncertainty—whether they will get sick, die, etc.
Caixin quoted Gu Jingyi, director of the post-pandemic psychological support program at Madison Community Center in New York, the largest Chinese mental health service organization in the eastern United States. He pointed out that, in early 2021, the number of calls received by the public psychological counseling hotline in New York tripled after the epidemic subsided.
Mr. Gu Jingyi said, “Epidemics whether natural or man-made, when disaster occurs, psychological problems don’t appear until a few months to a year after the disaster. Because at that time, life and the living needs were dominating them very strongly. When everything gradually goes into order, then it is time to think about how this issue affects the mind and mentality. You may find that you never seem to get out of a state of stress, that’s when you notice mental health issues.”
In March this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that, in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global rates of anxiety and depression had increased by 25%. And areas with the worst mental health decline were often those with the worst outbreaks, with high infection rates and limited social interaction.
WHO Secretary-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this information about the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s mental health is just the tip of the iceberg.
According to the WHO, stress caused by social distancing is the leading cause of increased psychological instability. In addition, loneliness, fear, resentment, grief after losing loved ones, and hundreds of thousands of financial worries. These are the leading causes of anxiety and depression. In addition, medical overload is also a significant cause of suicidal ideation.
The report also indicates that women are affected more than men. In addition, younger people, especially those between 20 and 24 years old, are affected more than older people. And people with conditions like asthma, cancer, and heart disease are more likely to experience symptoms of mental illness.
According to public information, after the local epidemic broke out in March this year, Shanghai implemented strict control and lockdown for over two months. During this time, Shanghai citizens must strictly follow the “stay-at-home” rule and accept PCR tests ordered by officials. As a result, people were forced to stay at home for a long time, and it is reported that some people are facing being unable to go out for medical care because they are so debilitated.
Caixin Weekly reported that as of June 1, Shanghai had the most prolonged lockdown period of more than 80 days. In the infinite loop of the so-called 7 + 7 days of quarantine, out-of-control emotions gradually appeared. A psychologist said that too many nucleic acid tests, while too little happiness, feelings of injustice, prolonged hunger, etc., will be “the last straw.”
Saxena, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, told Caixin weekly that, after repeated lockdowns in several areas, problems like bankruptcy, unemployment, drastic income decrease, and children dropping out of school have appeared and are getting worse. These are all fundamental causes of human psychological trauma.
The report mentions that, during the lockdown in Shanghai, support services related to psychiatric and psychological counseling were disrupted, and “all those who returned to the clinic afterward experienced worse symptoms.” For example, one person returning from the quarantine at the hospital said he had experienced an “unbearable” feeling that left him in a state of fear, irritability, stress, anxiety, and feelings of discrimination.
Wang Zhen, deputy director of the Shanghai Mental Health Center, warned that the elderly and children bear the most significant consequences of the epidemic. However, some impacts have not yet appeared, but negative manifestations may gradually appear in the next 5-10 years.