FEW people in the country have been unaffected by the Covid-19 crisis.
As the latest figures show that more than 38,000 people have contracted the virus, a new report found that more than half of us have suffered depression and anxiety as a result.
A survey carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes for the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association and Irish Pharmacy Union found that the pandemic has negatively impacted many people’s health in this country.
While just two per cent of those polled said they contracted the virus, some 47 per cent of people said they have depression, anxiety and a lack of confidence as a result of the health crisis.
And over two-fifths of people, or 44 per cent, said the Covid-19 pandemic caused them to gain weight, to over-eat or to stop exercising.
Almost one quarter, or 24 per cent, missed a hospital appointment, which could have huge health implications in the future.
Fears for their jobs and income security drove anxiety in 25 per cent of people polled, while 14 per cent admitted that they drank too much during the pandemic.
The survey shows the importance of pharmacy as a central pillar of healthcare in the community, with nearly one-third of people saying the pharmacist has become more important to them during the pandemic.
Here the Irish Sun finds out about some of the common problems affecting people during the pandemic.
DRINKING TOO MUCH
SOME 14 per cent of people polled say they drank too much during the pandemic.
Experts warn that this can add to problems like stress, anxiety and poor sleep, while the HSE advises that it may also compromise a person’s immunity to infection.
The HSE’s guidelines warn that people are more at risk of serious illness if they have a weak immune system or are immunosuppressed.
Fears for their jobs and income security drove anxiety in 25 per cent of people.
Women and people aged between 25 and 34 were most likely to worry about Covid-19.
Twice as many young people feel less in control of their emotions compared to the same time last year.
Some 80 per cent of Irish taxpayers say that the pandemic made them fear for their financial future.
The Taxback.com Consumer Sentiment Survey echoes research by the Central Statistics Office into the social impact of Covid-19, which found that 37.5 per cent of people have been negatively financially impacted by the pandemic.
More than 450,000 people in Ireland experience depression at any one time — that’s one in ten of us.
Research in the UK found that 64 per cent of people presented with common signs of depression during the early days of lockdown in March.
While this figure shrank to 31.6 per cent more recently, there are fears this could rise again if further restrictions are introduced.
It is likely Ireland has similar findings.
Experts believe that a “tsunami of acute spinal problems” among people working at home is on its way.
The stark warning comes from occupational health experts who say they are already witnessing a spike in desk-based workers needing help after months using unsuitable work stations at home.
In one case, a worker even admitted to using an ironing board as a desk, Occupational Therapy NI claims.
A study of UK employees by Opinium found that 63 per cent of people working from home had reported aches, pains or injury.
The new report from the IPHA and IPU found that 29 per cent of people say they are exercising more.
However, the Irish Heart Foundation has said it is concerned about the long periods of time people are spending in their seats.
Over half of those working from home estimate they are sitting down for an average of two hours and 40 minutes longer per day.
Some 53 per cent of home workers say they are sitting down for longer than when in the office or their usual place of work.
And one in four of those who are sitting for longer are remaining sedentary for at least three hours more than they were previously.
Migraine sufferers are experiencing more frequent and severe migraines since the start of the pandemic.
A survey of 120 adults living with migraine in Ireland found that 58 per cent of respondents were getting more frequent migraines, with 69 per cent reporting their symptoms have become more severe.
Of those respondents who said their migraine had become more frequent, 84 per cent said it was due to stress caused by the pandemic.
Other factors triggering a moderate to severe increase in migraines included changes to routine (67 per cent), lack of sleep (63 per cent) and more screen time (60 per cent).