AS more local areas go into lockdown again, there are warnings of a mental health tsunami looming for Wales.
From 6.00 last night, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tudfil and Newport have been added to Caerffili and Rhondda Cynon Taf on the lockdown list.
This follows an increase in positive testing for coronavirus in these areas, although the death rate in Wales has flatlined for weeks on end.
Karl-James Langford, GWLAD’s Senedd Candidate in the Vale of Glamorgan said he was extremely concerned about the mental health implications of further lockdowns in Wales.
‘As a tutor, working with adult students, I’ve already witnessed the loneliness, the acute isolation and the depression that lockdowns have caused these past few months’ said Mr Langford.
‘We know of people who have taken their own lives here because of the isolation and the prevention of usual socialization which is so important for people’s mental health’.
Mr. Langford said he was initially supportive of the first lockdown, but has now changed his mind seeing the real mental anguish it has caused in the lives of his students and for the lives of people in his area in general.
‘My personal opinion is that we have to find a way of living with the virus or we may never get to any form of normalacy again’ he said.
‘We have to accept the virus and find a way forward as a society, not just blindly accept further restrictions’.
It is quite striking how the mental health aspects of the coronavirus saga have been ignored these past few months.
First Minister Mark Drakeford, for all his earnest pleading about us ‘keeping safe’ has barely said a word about it.
And no advice, guidelines or even some words of encouragement for the general public have been issued by the Welsh Government.
The depressive potential for all is to be further ramped up, with pubs, cafes and restaurants now expected to shut their doors at 10.00 from tomorrow (Thursday).
With no guidance or support from the politicians, perhaps it’s time for civic society to step up.
Thinking of new and creative ways to reach out to people to address the growing tide of isolation and loneliness which is only likely to get worse here over the next few months.
Yes, sensible precautions are appropriate right now, but other people should never be considered a virus to be avoided at all costs.