Many parts of the world are by now starting to emerge from what has been the most bizarre spring on record. The coronavirus lockdown has been devastating economically, and its true impact is probably isn’t even known yet. Given the sheer amount of money printed by central banks over the last few months, the outcome can only be recession at best and economic depression at worse. 

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However, the lockdown that was intended to protect people from the coronavirus has also been damaging in many less obvious ways. People’s health, both mental and physical, has deteriorated as a direct result of the lack of social interaction and movement restrictions forced upon us. Here are just some of the causes of such issues.  

Poor Eating and Exercise Habits

In many nations of the world, all but essential businesses have been closed for most of 2020 at this point. Essential, apparently mostly just means eating and drinking, however. Whilst the gym hasn’t been open, the supermarket certainly has, and takeaways too. Not only have gyms been shut, some parts of the world, such as Spain, for example, actually banned people leaving the house entirely for almost two months! 

Under such conditions, boredom runs rife and many people deal with boredom by eating. Overeating with scant or zero chance to exercise can only result in people gaining weight. There is a myriad of health factors associated overweight individuals. These include: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes. With global rates of obesity growing each year – the number has tripled since 1975 – the last thing humans need is for an event that, for some, encourages overeating and discourages physical activity. 

Weakening Our Immune System

Another somewhat ironic fact about lockdown is that it’s weakening our immune systems. What a lot of people don’t realise is that there is actually a hell of a lot of viruses on earth. In fact, there are more than 10 nonillion (30 zeros!) viruses on earth and we only know of about 200 that are dangerous to humans. Put simply, there are fewer stars in the sky than there are viruses on earth.

By isolating from other individuals for so long, we have been coming in contact with a much smaller number of viruses than we do typically. Therefore, our immune systems will be much more poorly equipped to deal with viruses other than COVID-19, and potentially any second wave of coronavirus. 

Slipping into Addiction

Isolation breeds boredom and without productive things to do, many people can slip into destructive behaviour that can be damaging for their health and wider life. Numbers of people drinking heavily, despite bars and pubs being closed, have been skyrocketing. For some, lockdown will have been the first time they’ve been alone with nothing but their own thoughts for an extended period. And there is a lot to think about. 

After all, there is a huge uncertainty as to how we emerge from all this. Economies will surely be in tatters and the threat of a second wave of the virus is very real. This could force additional lockdowns, further deaths, and greater economic strife going forward. None of these are particularly pleasant thoughts and, for many, the best option might be to find salvation at the bottom of a bottle – or at least to block out these thoughts for a while. 

Of course, alcohol can be addictive for some people. What started out as a coping mechanism can quickly become a problem all of its own. The health consequences of over indulging constantly on the booze can be disastrous too. Alcohol abuse can cause damage to the brain, nervous system, heart, liver, and pancreas. It can also destroy personal and working relationships. 

Along with getting drunk, people are gambling more during lockdown. With millions laid off or fired by companies that can’t perceive a way out of COVID-19, there is strong incentive to try to get cash by any means. There is also a large void of meaningful activity that folks could be occupying themselves with. These two factors combined, along with most sports being cancelled, have seen people flock to online casinos like never before. 

For many, a flutter on roulette or blackjack with nothing better to occupy them is hardly going to wreck their life. However, others with a more addictive nature, or larger incentive to win cash by any means, can easily find themselves gambling on impulse, long after the activity has stopped being enjoyable. 

These days, most online casinos do enforce player protections to minimise the risk of players developing compulsive tendencies. However, some do not. Casino review sites like NoDepositKings can help in this regard. They list loads of blacklisted operators who may not demonstrate a commitment to player protections or let players down in some other capacity. 


Finally, there’s depression. We humans are social creatures. Interaction makes us feel good and, even the staunchest loners, eventually crave the company of other humans. 

Lockdown has made it difficult to get this kind of interaction. Unfortunately, a Zoom conference call with your mates is never quite going to have the same appeal as a round of golf, a day shopping, a kick about, or even a few down at the pub with real company. 

Just isolation alone is enough to prompt depressive thoughts. However, add to that all the worries over health, the future, and the economy, and it’s easy to imagine why many people are suffering. Depression can have a serious impact on health, since it often causes a lack of appetite, trouble sleeping, difficulties in relationships, stress, and other problems. Clinical depression goes further than this and in the very worse cases, the victim can feel the need to end their own life. 

Experts are already warning of a “perfect storm” for suicides to skyrocket. In a recent paper, a large list of causes of depression that could trigger suicide attempts relating to lockdown are identified. Medical professionals, those fearing recession and loss of income, and those suffering as a direction result of isolation were all explicitly mentioned. 

Should We Have Done Things Differently?

COVID-19 came absolutely out of the blue. We weren’t prepared for a pandemic of this scale and as such may have handled the response the wrong way this time. As mentioned, there are many ways in which the course of action we took is harmful to individuals – be it through addiction, depression, not eating well and hardly exercising, or weakening our immune systems against future dangers of similar natures. 

Whilst the response to shut everything down and isolate seemed reasonable in desperation, surely, we as a planet need better systems in place to deal with such situations that don’t involve shutting everything down. Keeping people safe is vital, of course, but when that safety invites additional risks, a concerted effort needs be made to look for better solutions to future pandemic events.