The COVID-19 pandemic has halted life for people in India and across the world. It has led to the creation and implementation of global policies featuring quarantines, social and physical distancing, travel restrictions, cancellation of schools and universities, and enacted work from home policies for offices. It has also distanced family, friends, and communities from each other in order to flatten the curve and decrease its viral spread.
In this context, it is important to understand the implications that such restrictive social activity combined with the underlying anxiety surrounding this health crisis has on the population. Specifically, marginalized groups such as women, girls, youth, migrants, internally displaced groups, and children with disabilities are struggling disproportionately during this lockdown and require extra effort.
To highlight the importance of the impact of COVID-19 and the present lockdown on the mental health of marginalized communities, UNESCO New Delhi has created a few awareness posters. The posters provide ways on how women, girls, youth, migrants, internally displaced groups, and children with disabilities can cope with their anxieties surrounding COVID 19, how they can operate and stay connected with each other within the limitations of the lockdown, and most importantly iterates to them that what they are feeling is okay and that they are not alone.
Marginalized people become even more vulnerable in times of emergencies. This could be due to many factors such as lack of access to reliable information, disruption of daily routines, or lack of support and health services. We hope the messages on these posters will help individual, family and interpersonal coping with the COVID 19 emergency
This entire situation of social and physical confinement along with a looming fear of contracting the virus is unsettling and can cause mixed feelings. It is vital to provide support to women, girls, youth, migrants, internally displaced groups, and children with disabilities during this unprecedented time and ensure that they are protected physically and mentally.