In general, a quarantine is “strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease “People might think that quarantine is….just isolation? Not exactly. 

Isolation and quarantine are public health practices used to protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease but, Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick 

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms 

Quarantine has been on all of our minds lately. But the word goes all the way back to the time of the Black Death. 

The concept of quarantine has been known since biblical times and is known to have been practised through history in various places. Notable quarantines in modern history include that of the village of Eyam in 1665 during the bubonic plague outbreak in England; East Samoa during the 1918 flu pandemic; the 1972 Yugoslav smallpox outbreak, and extensive quarantine applied throughout the world during the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic 

Italy has imposed tough restrictions on people and businesses to help tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. The measure includes closing almost all shops and cancelling events and gatherings. Similar action in China led to a dramatic decline in new cases. In a move to encourage what’s known as social distancing, cafes, restaurants, gyms, museums, schools and other institutions across the country have closed. All shops- except food stores and pharmacies – will close too. And public gatherings like religious services and businesses, social and sporting events have been cancelled. People are not supposed to enter or leave quarantined areas and only work-related internal movement is permitted. 

Quarantine yourself at home can play an important role in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. But this doesn’t mean that coping with the disruption in your normal routine is easy. Taking care of your mental health is essential, even if your time in quarantine is relatively brief in the grand scheme of things. 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has led people to engage in social distancing as a critical way to help “flatten the curve”, or contain the spread of the illness to help keep infection rates as possible. Quarantine is recommended in cases where a person has been exposed or potentially exposed to others with coronavirus (Covid-19) 

In addition to the uncertainty and stress of the global outbreak, spending time in quarantine can take a serious mental toll. Part of the reason for this is the impact that quarantine has on three key elements of mental health: 

  • Autonomy 
  • Competency 
  • Connectedness 

As school close, workers opt to telecommute, and other social events have cancelled the prospect of being confined to your home because of quarantine can be daunting. Time seems to creep by much more slowly after you ' very been at home with other family members, the sense of isolation and cabin fever can be powerful. 

The American Psychological Association reports that social isolation carries a number of health risks. Feeling isolated can lead to poor sleep, poor cardiovascular health, lower immunity, depressive symptoms, and impaired, you may find it more difficult to focus, manage your emotions, remember information, and follow directions. 

While quarantine may be only temporary, even brief periods of isolation and loneliness can have negative consequences on both physical and mental well-being. 

Submitted by “Rabia Saleem