Measures are being taken to combat the Covid-19 epidemic to protect people. However, psychiatrists and psychologists argue that the risks posed by restrictions to society and mental health should not be ignored.
After weeks of snow in Berlin, a sudden rise in temperature has caused thousands of people who did not leave their homes due to coronavirus measures to flock to the streets and parks.
However It’s been four months in GermanyExcept in exceptional cases, curfew is applied. Off-premises stores, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, are still closed. Contact between individuals is also very limited.
In fact, despite these restrictions, many people have formed long queues outside restaurants and cafes. The vast majority of people in parks and streets do not wear masks.
It is possible to see that the restrictions no longer work, people do not obey them.
The number of diseases is increasing
An increase in the number of Covid-19 incidentsconfirms that the compliance rate has actually decreased. Experts warn that Germany is going to a third wave.
Efforts to vaccinate the public against coronavirus in Germany are slower than in the United States and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, the rate of transmission of virus variants is also increasing, the most surprising being the British version of the coronavirus B.1.1.7. and this adds to the concerns.
Public support for restrictions is declining
Rolf van Dick, a professor of social psychology at the University of Goethe, said: “All the data we have and the results of our research show that most of them are still subject to the rules … But I think that if the restrictions continue, the minority will not follow them.”
According to a public opinion poll broadcast by ARD Public Television on February 19, the number of people who think that Covid-19 restrictions in Germany have increased by 5 percent compared to two weeks ago has increased by 27 percent. In the previous survey, the proportion of those who said that the measures taken were not enough, in the last survey fell from 24 percent to 16 percent.
“Feeling of exhaustion”
This represents the lowest level of public support for events that began about a year ago.
According to psychologist Stephan Grünewald, a member of the North Rhine-Westphalia Council of Epidemiologists, the lack of long-term prospects has created a “feeling of exhaustion,” especially in the winter.
“Some people feel like we’re going to live in isolation forever,” he said.
Risk of violence and street demonstrations
The Netherlands, which began a partial curfew in January, has been the scene of violent street demonstrations. Similar demonstrations by coroners have taken place in some German cities.
Citing DW’s findings, Grünewald said severe restrictions would “increase resentment and aggression” among the general population.
Social psychologist van Dick pointed out that not only extremists, but also those who do not normally see violence can resort to violence because of the frustration caused by restrictions.
Conspiracy theories and the number of people who believe in it may increase
A large part of the media and politics characterizes opponents of coronavirus measures as an “extremist minority”, including those who organized large-scale demonstrations without masks in 2020, calling themselves “Querdenker” (thinking from a different perspective and perspective).
According to psychologist Stephan Grünewald, if restrictive measures continue for a long time the popularity of these groups may increase.
“Coronavirus atheists have been kept under control to date due to the alarming number of deaths. But with increasing vaccinations, conspiracy theorists and atheists are able to regain their strength,” he said.
“They should be encouraged to reconcile with the facts”
Psychiatrist Jean Kalbitzer said that in the next stage of the epidemic, coronavirus atheists need to be reconciled in order to build social cohesion.
It is not enough to tell these people that their thoughts are wrong and misguided, Kalbitzer said, adding that they should be encouraged to accept the truth and that the truth can be explained in a way that is interesting to them.
The German government, and in particular the Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, emphasizes the importance of solidarity and “individual responsibility” in the fight against the epidemic.
But individual responsibility is a very painful recipe for society. Moreover, it is not easily accepted in an environment where politically responsible people do not keep their promises and do not keep them.
Health Minister Spahn, for example, promised everyone a quick test. However, this process is slower than planned. It is also emphasized that vaccination targets are very far away. Minister Spahn has been criticized by opposition lawmakers in the federal parliament for not living up to his promises as a “minister responsible for statements.”
Honesty and realistic goals are important
Professor Rolf van Dick, a social psychologist, said: “Political communication must be sustainable. It must be based on specific criteria and information, and it must be clearly communicated to the public.”
Psychologist Stephan Grünewald stressed that honesty and realistic goals are more important than ever in this critical period, and said, “Clear prospects need to be presented.”
“We’re always talking about what to avoid, what not to do, what to sacrifice … At the same time, we need to focus on what people need and how we can meet that expectation,” Grünewald said. He said.
“Politicians need to find a way to meet these expectations to prevent ‘anarchy,'” Grünewald said, adding that people crave nature and want to feel the vibrant energy of spring.
© Deutsche Welle Turkish