The adverse effects of the Covid-19 restrictions on health are apparent from the report of the PGIMS, Rohtak, which says that the prolonged lockdown resulted in poor blood sugar control among patients suffering from Type-1 form of diabetes, a chronic condition which usually appears during adolescence. Diet and exercise, essential for glycemic control, were affected because of confinement at home and reduced physical activity. The outbreak also made it difficult to seek medical attention for patients suffering from other diseases because medicines were in short supply due to the thrust on containing the virus.
Diabetes is essentially a lifestyle disease that requires modifications in routine to keep its debilitating effects under check. Wasim Akram, the Pakistani cricketer who suffered from Type-1 diabetes, battled it successfully by adapting to its requirements, for getting afflicted with an illness early in life can put a career in jeopardy. The PGIMS report also puts the focus on how the priority accorded to Covid-19 has affected healthcare, with other illnesses not receiving proper follow-up, OPDs in hospitals remaining closed, surgeries being postponed, dispensaries and clinical laboratories that provided cost-effective intermediary consultations shutting down and the healthcare staff, tasked to tackle coronavirus cases, facing problems at many places because of staff shortage and non-payment of salaries.
The lockdown has also seen fallouts not linked to the pandemic. Living constantly in closed spaces has tended to affect inter-personal relations. For students, being confined to home and without much activity and scope for recreation, being glued to TV, mobile phones and computer screens because of the break from schools and colleges, meant severe stress, besides other health problems. As the battle against the virus continues, tackling the pandemic should not be allowed to result in more health nightmares. Covid-19 deserves attention, but the neglect of other medical conditions for a long period can result in a healthcare breakdown. The economic slowdown resulted in distress and a similar situation from the health point of view is best avoided by ensuring physical well-being.