Was the Covid pandemic bad for mental health? It depends who you ask | Devi Sridhar

A report has been seized upon to argue that lockdown had little effect on mental health – but the truth is more nuanced

Imagine that your teenager was a star athlete, on track for a university athletics scholarship. But then they develop long Covid at the height of the pandemic, meaning they no longer had the lung capacity to run, let alone live independently. If that was your experience, you’re likely to think the government didn’t do enough to protect children from Covid-19, or vaccinate them fast enough.

On the other hand, what if your child developed an eating disorder due to social isolation and depression? In that case, you might think that lockdown measures were disproportionate. If you lost a loved one to the disease, then you might blame government for doing too little. If your small business of 20 years shut down, you might blame government for doing too much.

Prof Devi Sridhar is chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh

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Category: Mental Health