Covid-19: From Pandemic to Epidemic an Ostrich Syndrome Causing Desensitization among Urban and Suburban Masses
Keywords:COVID-19, precautionary measures, lockdown, pandemic, Ostrich Syndrome.
AbstractBackground: After declaration of the Covid-19 as pandemic by WHO, like every country of the world Pakistan also took exceptional precautionary measure to control the spread and transmission of this virus. These measures included strict lockdowns, shutting down educational institutions, markets, shopping malls, airports and masjids. The study primarily aimed to assess the individuals' knowledge, attitude, behavioral practices to prevent coronavirus and its psychological impacts on their mental health but later researcher also conducted another post study. Factually, the economic crisis, holy month of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitar forced the authorities soften the lockdown. Consequently, after this relaxation, the patients of Covid-19 as well as the death rates increased exponentially in Punjab. Methods: A non-equivalent quasi-experimental research designed was used to conduct pre and post study. An online survey having standardized questions about the peoples' knowledge regarding Covid-19, attitudes, their behavioral practices to prevent it and in what manner covid effected their mental health was conducted. Moreover, it also includes the information for demographics of sample. The link was sent to the participants through email, WhatsApp, Social media, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Similarly, same procedure was followed in post-study, with the same participants, but after a gap of three weeks. Results: Data was analyzed by SPSS and t-test was applied to draw comparisons among the responses of pre and post study. Results revealed that peoples' knowledge and attitude towards Covid-19 remained same in both studies, however, their behavioral practices to prevent Covid-19 and psychological impacts on their mental health (i.e., stress, depression, fear) greatly reduced in post study as compared to the pre-study. Conclusion: The authorities should initiate the health education programs to improve the knowledge, attitude and behavioral practices regarding Covid-19 and to combat its psychological impact on mental health. Besides, it is highly recommended that authorities should take bold steps to enforce formal, or smart lockdown to take control over the situation or else get ready to filled up the graveyards. The situation can also be controlled by enforcing precautionary measures and re-inviting awareness.
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