The coronavirus pandemic has drastically touched everybody’s lives and routines over the past 12 months – and there can be no doubt it has affected people’s friendships and relationships. Our reporter Amy Johnson provides an analysis of this issue.
The nationwide lockdowns throughout the past year have created an unexpected separation between friends and family – a gap which many are looking forward to seeing reduced now as society works to get back to a state of normality.
However, for some, an anxiety of quickly returning to a lockdown-free life is apparent. Adjusting back into society is a scary prospect for some after a year of isolation away from others.
There have been more than four million coronavirus cases across the UK and, while the vaccination program is proving to be a speedy success across the country, the fear that there will be another wave of cases that pushes us into a fourth lockdown and further distanced from our loved ones lingers.
As social creatures, maintaining relationships with family and friends is an important part of our socialisation and development.
The closure of schools throughout the three lockdowns has also meant that children have not received the same support, socialisation and mental and physical stimulation that they would usually receive.
MentalHealth.org conducted a study from March 2020 around mental health during the pandemic. In early April last year when the first lockdown was introduced, 24% of adults in the 18-44 year old age demographic reported that they felt lonely in the first week.
That percentage increased to 47% among the 18-24 year old age group in late May 2020, only two months after the April report.
Loneliness has become a nationwide issue in itself alongside the coronavirus, and one that a vaccine cannot fix.
There are many resources available for people struggling with the anxiety of integrating into society again. If you are feeling lonely or anxious to see loved ones, please visit MentalHealth.org or Rethink Derbyshire to seek help and support.