Health Facundo Manes: "We cannot have an eternal quarantine" -...

Facundo Manes: “We cannot have an eternal quarantine” – Health and Wellbeing

The Argentine neuroscientist warned about the prolongation of isolation. “If we have a ‘burned out’ people, an exhausted society, no matter how much we fix the debt or bring in investments, we have a humanitarian, social and economic problem.”
The Argentine neuroscientist Facundo Manes considered today that the most negative balance that the coronavirus is leaving to humanity “is a pandemic of mental illness” that, he warned, already harms a significant number of young people who are suffering from anxiety disorders or depression.
A recent and precise investigation by the Ineco Foundation evaluated the effects of the pandemic and quarantine on the mental health of the population and showed alarming figures. According to Manes, “health cannot be separated into physical and mental health, health is comprehensive and today we Argentines are exhausted.”
“The work we did six days after the isolation began and another at 72 days, showed alarming figures: six out of 10 Argentines have symptoms of depression. This quadruples or quintupled the pre-pandemic values, ”said Manes during an interview with Marcelo Longobardi on Radio Miter.
The neuroscientist gave another even more worrying fact: young people are the most affected. “According to our work at Ineco, eight out of 10 young people in the country have symptoms of mild, moderate and severe depression; and more than six in 10 have mild, moderate or severe symptoms of anxiety ”.
“Young people are being very affected and what we have to avoid is that this becomes chronic. Health is only one, and if it is not made a priority, Argentina is going to have to be rebuilt. If we have a ‘burned’ people, an exhausted society, no matter how much we fix the debt or bring investments, if we have a depressed, unmotivated and anxious people, we are facing not only a humanitarian problem, but also a social and economic one, ”he emphasized.
Manes warned that the increasingly tense environment in political and socioeconomic terms contributes to aggravating this situation. “Communication from the authorities can also aggravate how we feel. According to data from the last epidemic in Southeast Asia in 2002, when the society that is becoming impoverished or with fear of losing their job sees that politicians or authorities have a discourse that is not clear, that they feel there is opportunism and a certain cynicism to the next election and not for the common good, when society perceives this, it has a very negative impact on our mental health ”, he explained.
Faced with this pandemic of anxiety, depression and tension, Manes raised some aspects that should be done to lessen the impact of these difficult months. “The first thing to do is be more careful. We have to carry out a psychoeducation campaign and explain to society that sometimes feeling bad is normal ”.
“Society must be given tools to emotionally regulate their behavior. I am very concerned because, in addition to the virus, fear is spreading, “admitted Manes, and claimed to be” more careful. ” “You have to empower people through the use of a mask, hand hygiene and lower fear. Less fear and more careful ”.
According to the neuroscientist, “the fear that exists in a generalized way today – the fear of contracting the virus, the fear for the health of our family, the fear for the economy, for the social situation – is a negative emotional state that is generated by an upcoming threat ”.
However, he warned about the effects of fear on the population when it is generated by the authorities. “Fear is very effective for social control, the fear of losing a job makes the worker bow his head, the fear of being persecuted makes the citizen resign himself to the abuse of the powerful,” he said, and affirmed that “fear it is a primitive strategy of coercion that is far from the modern and democratic societies that we maintain as an ideal ”.
“We must communicate with less fear and empower the population because we are going to live with the virus for long months and we will not be able to be in an eternal quarantine,” he emphasized.
In this sense, Manes regretted that we are facing “a factional dispute” in Argentina, warned that “this is the worst that can happen to us” and called for the recovery of critical thinking. “There are fanatics who engage in so-called ‘motivated reasoning’ and don’t listen to scientific arguments. We have false dilemmas of ‘quarantine vs. death ‘and’ economy vs. Health’. This behavior means that we select the data that coincide with what we want to believe and thus reinforce our preconceptions and mental schemes, and as a contrary gesture we ignore or devalue what contradicts what we think ”, he explained.
Finally, Manes referred to the amount of time that a human being can sustain the limitations of seeing their parents, children, friends or without playing sports. “The quarantine alone we always knew that it is useless so that the virus does not come. What the quarantine does is buy time to improve health systems, to test, to isolate (…) and if that could not be done due to a logistical issue or because we are a poor country, we should rethink this strategy because we are
“This virus takes the best of our species, the ability to bond, to embrace us, and uses it against us. We have to be connected with technology, with our affections, with our friends. We have to comply with physical distancing, but not social distancing, “he added.
To conclude, the neuroscientist reiterated the need to “stop the ball, call in a multidisciplinary team from different political sectors and think about what is coming in terms of health, economic and social. If that is not done, we are going to fall back into one of the Argentine problems, which is that one faction wants to solve all the country’s problems ”.
Source: Infobae.-


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