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Opinion

Current state of Nepal, Lockdown and it’s Side effects

24-May-2021

By Sarthak Singh

Nepal’s domestic politics have been undergoing a turbulent and significant shift which seems to be “more important” than the current global pandemic COVID-19 which is spreading rapidly in Nepal. Currently the government has issued a strict lockdown officially which is an important factor to control this sudden outburst of COVID-19 but the lockdown doesn’t seem to be too effective as the cases don’t seem to lower and are causing various problems.


The government has issued a strict lockdown but still it isn’t as effective as people hoped and people are still suffering. 
The lack of social interactions and isolation has impacted heavily on the mental health and well being of people of all ages during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has labeled daily groceries and medical treatment (Medicines) as the only “necessary” things that we need desperately. The government has issued orders to close schools/colleges and resume their studies online. As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms. Online learning is not as nearly as effective as the physical lectures performed by professional teachers/professors and might affect the quality of manpower in the coming future but is still more productive rather than doing nothing. Since the stationeries and libraries are closed the students do not have sufficient study materials which will slowly but surely affect the quality of their education. 
Excessive use of social media has also been a key factor of entertainment as people stay indoors and find a purpose in their everyday life when the situation is uncontrollable. It is difficult to be mentally/physically healthy in this situation as we cannot perform any outdoor activity (specially in the city). Also, people cannot socialize physically so most useful or useless information that we get on social media is related to suffering or demise of people. In June and July, there were a few articles stating that there has been a 25% increase in the number of suicides in Nepal, after the lockdown began. Similar numbers were picked up by other media, and was repeated so often that it has come to be accepted as the truth. Many health experts believe that the increase in suicide rates is caused by depression and anxiety which is further caused by lack of social interactions and self-isolation. 
The strict lockdown has been issued but still the local streets, shops and vegetable markets still have the same amount of crowd with little to no social distancing and proper safety measures. Lack of awareness and carefulness is also one of the key factors as there are many cases where COVID-19 spreads because of the carelessness of shopkeepers/shop-owners as they simply ignore the symptoms of COVID-19.
The current situation of Nepal is pretty bizarre and I personally think that the government should rethink and increase the activities allowed during the lockdown in a strict and organized manner.
 

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