People hopeful amid COVID-19 crisis, says PU research survey


Chandigarh : Despite a massive spike in cases of COVID-19 across the country, many Indians are hopeful, reveals an online research survey by the psychology department of Panjab University (PU) here on Friday.

The survey collected findings based on mapping the psycho-social impact of the COVID-19 upheaval on the homebound people and their coping strategies.

“An overwhelming majority of respondents (96 per cent) reported a positive emotional and mental health, which is the silver lining to the bleak public mood since the virus outbreak,” said psychologist Prof Seema Vinayak, who carried out the research investigation, between April 6 and 9.

Close to 400 people of diverse age groups and social strata are having internet access in over a dozen zones across the country.

“A new sense of family bonding has acted as a cushion for stress, anxiety and fear arising out of uncertainty, and also upped the happiness quotient of members,” added Vinayak.

Much of the positive outlook among people, according to the survey, is a prolonged period of togetherness forced upon the families by the curfew-like stay-at-home norms.

Interestingly, elderly respondents, who generally experienced loneliness in normal times due to the busy lives of younger family members, reported a significant surge in their emotional well-being owing to greater interpersonal interactions in homes.

At least two-thirds of respondents reported that enjoying nature, yoga, meditation and physical exercise in the confines of home helped them cope with the stressors of an unabated pandemic and an open-ended lockdown.

Impact on livelihood, uncertainty on academic and professional lives, continued raging of coronavirus and loss of social life emerged as the top-of-the-mind worries among respondents.

Yet, most are high on hope about the post-lockdown future. Trust in the government’s steps to deal with the virus outbreak, a likely invention of the vaccine, a greater focus on healthcare and increased awareness about hygiene were mentioned as bright spots by three-fourths of the respondents.

According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, at least 132 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in Punjab as of Saturday. Out of the 132 cases, five patients have recovered and 11 have succumbed to the virus. (ANI)