Does COVID-19 impact on family relationships? Strongly yes, The COVID-19 pandemic has deconstructed our family relationships in unusual ways that have affected us in all spheres of family life. We have become segregated from our near and dear ones and been more isolated from communal activities. At this critical period, we should follow guidelines predicted by experts as to what we should do and should not do to keep our family members safe from the transmission of COVID-19.
The impact of COVID-19 on family relationships can be divided into three broad strata:
1.The financial impact of COVID-19:
- The extra expense of raising the whole family at home: All family members are staying all together at home at the time of COVID-19. So, there is an extra burden of raising all the family members. Sometimes it becomes much difficult for a single bread earner to bear the expense of the whole family.
- Cost of medical treatment and care: Other than the everyday family expense, there is an extra burden of medical treatment and care especially for the children and the aged people. Low-income families are really going through a trying time at this critical moment of COVID-19.
- Shortage of earning due to job loss and lock-down: Family earning has been subsided due to job loss and lock-down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has affected families in all spheres and especially in inmates and parental relationships.
- Waning incomes are pressurizing on household spending: Due to lessening incomes, people have to be very choosy on household spending. They are now not able to buy or consume whatever they like. They have barely to save their existence let alone live in lavishly.
- Returning to home districts is not a doable solution for many: A portion of working-class people has returned to their home districts. But to many, this is not a workable alternative. Because of doing so, there is a fear of job loss, the uncertainty of getting financial aid from the Government in the remote areas, etc.
2.The psychological impact of COVID-19:
- Closure of educational institutions has increased the proportion of psychologically dejected young guys: The closure of educational institutions for a long time has left the young students emotionally dejected. They are segregated from their friends, playground, teachers, weekend tours, and whatnot. Sitting the whole day idly at the home the whole day and doing online classes and playing games has become a monotonous routine for them.
- Children are getting short-tempered and annoyed: Lack of peer interaction, playing, and home confinement have made the children irritated and annoyed to some extent. They feel like a caged pet in the house.
- People of all ages are getting bored and lonely: Not only are the children but people of all ages getting bored and lonely because of lock-down. People cannot even join the funeral of their own relatives. This is a very hard mental pressure to bear.
- Feeling of loneliness for the home quarantined: And loneliness for the home quarantined beggar description. S/he is totally isolated in a room for 14 days.
- COVID-19 positive and old people are fear-stricken: People who are COVID-19 positive and old people are much panic-stricken as per the security of their lives since there is no medicine for this viral disease. Even hospitals are not allowing people aged over 60 years.
3.The physical impact of COVID-19:
- Low/inaccessibility of medical services for family’s old aged persons: As aged persons are more prone to COVID-19 attack, hospitals and medical professionals are unwilling to admit or treat them in hospitals. Also, there is a shortage of ventilators for critical patients and the number of COVID units is limited until now.
- Increase in the rate of domestic violence: Since many people are staying at home with no income or work, there is a dramatic rise in the rate of domestic violence. In most cases, the female gender is the victim. They are the victim of both physical and verbal abuse.
- The divorce rate is on the rise: As male counterparts are increasingly losing work or have a waning income due to lock-down, their female counterparts often are preparing for divorce. It is most evident in China.
- Keeping aloof oneself from sexual activities or touching/kissing: At the period of COVID-19, experts are discouraging people from doing sexual intercourse, touching, or kissing. This may result in a bitter relationship between couples.
- Bar on public gathering events such as marriage, birthday, anniversary, funeral, etc.: All types of public gatherings are restricted while the corona period. So, people reluctantly even cannot even take part in familial marriage, birthday, or funeral. This is really hard for a person to bear as a human.
- Being more focused on social networking, TV, computer, gaming: As people do not have much work in hand, they pass their time browsing social networking sites, watching TV, before the computer, children pass their time watching cartoons or playing games. Thus people are becoming socially isolated in one sense.
- Excessive exposure on digital screen results in headache, eye-related problems, obesity: Long time exposure before a computer screen or mobile phone cause headache, eye problems, and also obesity and other health-related problems. A healthy mind resides in a healthy body- goes the saying. If the body remains unhealthy how the mind will be OK? How it will be fit for work? All work and other familial duties and responsibilities will be a mess of pottage then. At the present time, people are excessively using mobile and computer to pass time.
- Social distance virtually decreasing but physically increasing: Many will say that by social networking; like Facebook, we are getting acquainted with many new people. But do we know our entire next-door neighbor or go to their house in times of their need? So, social distance in a sense virtually decreasing but physically increasing.
- A sense of self-alienation is going to thaw: All these impacts of COVID-19 pave the way to create segregation of our own self. We are not what we are, what we make are not consumed by us, our family is leaving us- thus we are self-alienated from our own being. This is a new anomie in this post-industrial era.
There are certainly several behaviors that we should do and some behaviors that we should not do at the COVID-19 period.
The Dos of COVID:
For the Elderly:
- Reside within the house. Omit to see off guests. If you really need to please keep at least a minimum distance of 3 feet.
- Clean your hands and face regularly with soap/handwash and water or hand sanitizer for minimum of 20 seconds for at least 20 times a day.
- While sniffling or coughing use a tissue or handkerchief. Put your tissue in the bin or wash your handkerchief after use. If you do not have tissue or handkerchief, cover your face/nose with your elbow.
- Do regular physical exercise.
- Gossip with your family members every day.
- Keep yourself busy at doing something so that negative thoughts may not occupy your mind.
- Respect your life-partner and give her/him equal rights to exercise over the family.
- Cooperate with the Government by obeying the safety rules properly and encourage others to follow these rules.
- Use a parental lock on digital devices.
- Try to be religiously involved, i.e. prayer, reading sacred books, etc.
For the Children:
- Learn proper rules of neatness and cleanliness.
- Wash hands and face before and after eating, after coming out of the toilet with soap/ handwash and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Use tissue or handkerchief while wheezing or coughing or use the elbow.
- Share your problems and needs with your parents.
- Talk or chat with your distant relatives and kin over phones.
- Do online classes and be attentive to your study.
The Don’ts of COVID:
For the Elderly:
- Don’t go out of the home without reason.
- Don’t touch your nose, eyes, or mouth with your hands if they are not clean or washed.
- Don’t sit before your computer/laptop or mobile phone for long hours.
- Don’t get up late from sleep and go to sleep late.
- Do not smoke or take alcohol.
- Do not physically or verbally abuse your inmate.
- Don’t divorce over a trifling matter.
- Don’t be frustrated.
For the Children:
- Don’t browse sites in the computer/mobile/tab that your parents have forbidden.
- Don’t sneeze or cough without tissue or handkerchief.
- Don’t eat junk food.
- Don’t play games or watch cartoons for the whole day.
- Avoid public gathering.
- Don’t sleep late at night and rise late in the morning.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us in all spheres of life in multifarious ways. Of course, other than anything it has affected family and intimate relationships largely. Parents with family members and small non-earning children have really encountered a threat to survival. Especially the tale of single-parent families is beyond imagination.
We all, in this crucial period, honor our counterpart and should not abuse them and avoid all types of gathering and also maintain social distance. However, in this critical period, we all muster strong to protect ourselves from this pandemic by following the rules of hygiene as predicted by the experts. We should also cooperate with the Government by abiding the nationally adopted policies.
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