Posted: 17.03.2023 16:35:00

Brain pandemic

What was the result of the mindless total isolation of COVID‑19?

The world is the most complex self-organised system. Its measured rhythm cannot be stopped by the wave of someone’s hand without having catastrophic consequences. However, in 2020 they tried to implement it. And what was the result? The rise in unemployment in the world, the decline in the quality of school education, the increase in cases of domestic violence and the increase in deaths from drug overdose. This is only a small part of the consequences that the wholesale ill-conceived global isolation campaign has led to during COVID‑19.

The President of Belarus, Aleksandr  Lukashenko,
“Keeping people in stuffy apartments is not a good idea. We will kill them like that. Many problems are surfacing now that we should deal with instead of closing the border and keeping people indoors. This is why I don’t understand those, who advise isolation, shutting down, and fencing off. It is necessary to work like we’ve always done with pinpoint precision.”
During a meeting with Chairwoman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus Natalya Kochanova on March 31st, 2020

Retrospective review

On January 30th, 2020, WHO designated COVID‑19 as PHEIC, an emergency event that ‘poses a risk to public health in other States as a result of the international spread of the disease and potentially requires a coordinated international response’. A month later, the world started talking about the beginning of a pandemic. One of the most common strategies to combat the coronavirus has become the almost complete isolation of people. A number of scientists have made statements that this is the only way the world can survive. Three years later, as the pandemic subsided, think tanks timidly and timidly began to issue statements about what had happened because of such policy decisions. We looked into the reports of international organisations to understand how our world has changed in the end.

Interpersonal relationships

Months of isolation were often the last straw for already cracked families. The fact that the number of applications to New York family lawyers asking for help in processing a divorce increased by 50 percent during the first week of the New York ‘pause’ order, the American media wrote back in the first wave of COVID-19. Britain’s largest family law firm reported a 95 percent increase in divorces during the pandemic on CNBC in January 2022. Divorce surge was also observed in China. 

Domestic violence

Quarantine measures and isolation have led not only to new problems, but also exacerbated those that existed before, the UN is confident. In particular, there has been an increase in cases of domestic violence, which, of course, primarily affects women and children. The problem of violence against women has become so widespread that the organisation has called it a shadow pandemic.

Global education crisis

With the lockdown, schools and universities were also banned.  
147 million children missed more than half of in-person classes in 2021. As a result, the current generation of children could lose a total of $17 trillion in their lifetime income.
From March 2020 to February 2022, schools around the world were partially or completely closed for an average of 41 weeks. The longest — in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The loss of social, cognitive and emotional skills is another non-obvious consequence of not being able to learn for such a long time for a huge number of students. 

Drug pandemic

In an article published this year in the Molecular Psychiatry journal, researcher Gavin Barth claims that before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States was in the midst of an opioid epidemic, with overdose deaths rising from 70,000 to 100,000 annually as a result. 
“Mass lockdown, economic uncertainty, reduced access to health care caused by the pandemic, likely combined with the opioid epidemic, contributed to the increase in deaths,” the scientist claims.

Consequences yet to be assessed

Over the past two years, almost all spheres of world life have plunged into chaos due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It reversed more than four years of progress towards eradicating poverty and pushed an additional 93 million people into extreme poverty in 2020. The pandemic has disrupted critical health services, causing, among other things, an increase in deaths from tuberculosis and malaria and a drop in immunisation coverage for the first time in a decade. Due to extended school closures, 24 million students, from preschool to university levels, are at risk of not returning to school. Would all these consequences have existed if the world community had not decided to suddenly put everything on pause?
According to the Sustainable Development Goals Report released by the UN in August 2022, the COVID‑19 pandemic has caused 15 million deaths. At the same time, a reservation is made that the pandemic has become a direct or indirect cause of their death.
On February 14th, 2023, an interactive web-based real-time COVID-19 deaths dashboard hosted by the Johns Hopkins University Centre for Systems Science and Engineering reported 6,855,584 deaths directly from the virus. Will the world community undertake to determine what killed the rest?

Mental health

Back in February 2020, scientists were warning the world to be very careful with lockdowns.
A year ago, the WHO recognised that the global prevalence of anxiety and depression had increased by 25 percent. One of the main explanations for this increase was the unprecedented stress caused by social isolation because of the pandemic. Associated with this were restrictions on people’s ability to work, seek support from loved ones, and participate in their communities. Loneliness, fear of infection, suffering and death of loved ones, grief after bereavement, and financial problems have also been cited as stressors leading to anxiety and depression.
“The information we have now about the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s mental health is just the tip of the iceberg. This is a wake-up call to all countries to pay more attention to mental health and do a better job of supporting their populations’ mental health,” Director-General of WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a year ago.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres also spoke on this topic, 
“The magnitude of the impact on people’s mental health is only now becoming clear. This could have serious consequences for many years to come.”

 The rich got richer and the poor got poorer

Thoughtlessly introduced quarantines have literally put down entire sectors of the economy in some countries. The World Bank reported last year that in 2020 ‘economic activity contracted in 90 percent of countries, the global economy contracted by about 3 percent’. By January 2021, almost every country’s economy was in recession.  
The International Monetary Fund has estimated that the pandemic as a whole will cost the global economy $13.8 trillion by the end of 2024. 
As the 2022 Sustainable Development Goals Report reveals, the steady progress in poverty reduction seen over the past 25 years has been reversed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
For the first time in the memory of a generation, the number of people living in extreme poverty has increased.


Due to the pandemic, as well as forced isolation, the ability of residents of various countries to receive treatment for other diseases has worsened. Throwing all its strength to cope with COVID-19, the world forgot that other diseases have not gone away.
“Measures taken by governments around the world, such as lockdowns and other restrictions, took a heavy toll, particularly on vulnerable communities… Many lost their livelihoods and were unable to access treatment for their disease or its after-effects,” said WHO Goodwill Ambassador for the Elimination of Leprosy Yohei Sasakawa.
Furthermore, the death rate from tuberculosis in the world increased to 1.3 million for the first time since 2005. 

By Svetlana Isaenok