'Had birthday party for dishwasher’: Twitter users respond after report downplays mental health crisis during Covid-19
As the study went viral, it did not go well with many users who questioned the authenticity of the data and went on a photo spree, sharing their days of ‘meltdowns’ during the lockdown period, some of which seem bizarre but not unbelievable.
After a report published in the British Medical Journal, led by researchers at McGill University in Canada, went viral for claiming that mental health crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic may not have been as ‘severe’ as thought, people have ever since went on a riot, sharing their most ‘unhinged lockdown behaviour' during the pandemic as they spoke about their meltdowns and how they navigated the loneliness in those times.
The report, originally covered by media broadcaster Deutsche Welle, included data from more than 137 other studies. However, despite having data from over 30 countries, mostly from middle to high-income countries, the report did not differentiate between those who did or did not get COVID-19.
As the claims of the study published by several media organisations went viral, it did not go well with many users who questioned the authenticity of the data and went on a photo spree, sharing their days of ‘meltdowns’ during the lockdown period, some of which seem bizarre but not unbelievable. On one such report covered by the British broadcaster BBC, users have flooded the comments, alleging poor mental crisis management by the government as they shared their coping mechanisms.
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“Yeah we all did great,” a user said ironically while sharing the viral christening photo from a ceremony where the priest used a water gun during ‘baptism’.
Another user shared her experience of how she and her then partner routinely measured a plant’s growth at their home which they called their ‘tall son’.
A look at some more tweets:
“I had to drop from my internship at a mental hospital because I got added as the new patient,” a user claimed.
Another shared they got divorced on zoom.
While the lead author of the paper, Brett Thombs, a psychiatry professor at McGill University, said claimed “ they were very confident that there wasn't a mental health catastrophe” during the pandemic, experts have flagged that because the study is a population-level data, the paper doesn't represent the problems that many individuals faced during the pandemic. “For example, it didn't differentiate [between] people who had COVID or long COVID from those who didn't,ʺ media broadcaster Deutsche Welle quoted Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri as saying.
Meanwhile in Indian context, a news agency PTI report – citing a survey compiled based on over 1.7 million messages with 61,258 people from August 2021 till January 2023, who reached out to a mental health helpline – said that atleast one third of those people reported battling anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts, and sought psychological support, the Cyrus and Priya Vandrevala Foundation’s survey said.