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2 years of social distancing… 1 in 5 Koreans ‘Corona Blue’

19% of the risk group for depression in the fourth quarter of 2021
improved in daily recovery, then worsened again
One in three women in their 30s is a ‘red flag’

The government announced on the 14th that quarantine measures will be eased during the Lunar New Year holiday
Announcement of introduction schedule for ‘eaten treatment’ on the 12th

Gwangju, the highest number of confirmed cases in a day… line Citizens line up to be tested for COVID-19 at the screening clinic at the Seo-gu Health Center in Gwangju on the 11th. In Gwangju, a total of 176 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed the day before, the highest number on a daily basis. Gwangju = Yonhap News

As the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) continues for a long time, it has been found that one in five people is suffering from severe depression. It was improved before the phased daily recovery (with Corona) last year, but as the COVID-19 epidemic worsens, the survey results show that the person is unable to escape from the feeling of depression. The government is considering easing quarantine regulations such as social distancing, but is struggling ahead of the spread of the mutated virus Omicron.

According to the ‘2021 Corona 19 National Mental Health Survey’ by the Ministry of Health and Welfare on the 11th, in the fourth quarter of last year (December), the rate of depression risk group (10 points or more out of 27 points) was 18.9%. The rate of depression risk group was lower than 22.8% in the first quarter of last year, when the third wave was in full swing, but it increased by 0.4 percentage points from the third quarter (18.5%). The depression score is 5.0. It is not getting better, with 5.0 points in the second quarter of last year and 5.1 points in the third quarter of last year.

Depression was highest among those in their 30s. The depression score of those in their 30s was 6.4, which was 1.5 times the lowest score of those in their 60s and older (4.2 points). The rate of depression risk group was 27.8%, twice that of those in their 60s (13.8%). People in their 20s had a higher depression score than other age groups, such as 6.7 points in March last year, but in this survey, the average score fell to 5.0.

By gender, the female depression score (5.7 points) and the proportion of the depression risk group (23.1%) outperformed men (4.4 points, 14.9%). In particular, the depression score (7.0 points) of women in their 30s and the ratio of the risk group for depression (33.0%) were high, so caution was evaluated.

The rate of suicidal thoughts rose to 16.3% in March of last year, but gradually decreased to 13.6% in December of last year. However, it is still high compared to 9.7% in March 2020, which is the early stage of COVID-19. The rate of suicidal thoughts was also highest among those in their 30s (18.3%). People in their 20s followed with 17.3%. The rate of suicidal ideation was slightly higher in men (13.8%) than in women (13.4%).


The reason why people’s mental health is not improving is analyzed to be due to the Corona 19 epidemic that has continued for nearly two years and social distancing. In November of last year, there was hope for a normal recovery, but due to a sharp increase in the number of confirmed cases, severe cases, and deaths, social distancing was strengthened again. In this survey, the fear/anxiety score of Corona 19 has been maintained between 1.6 and 1.8 throughout last year.

The government is weighing the easing of restrictions on the number of people at private meetings and business hours as the quarantine indicators show a positive trend, but it is not easy. If Omicron becomes the dominant species and spreads during the Lunar New Year holiday, it may spread into a large-scale epidemic. The government decided to announce whether to adjust the distance after reviewing the quarantine and medical subcommittee of the Daily Recovery Support Committee on the same day, the general meeting of the Daily Recovery Committee on the 12th, and the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters on the 14th.

On the 12th, the government will announce the introduction schedule, quantity, and target of administration of the oral COVID-19 treatment. The government signed a purchase contract for a total of 1,400,000 people, for 762,000 people for Pfizer’s ‘Pax Lovid’ and 242,000 for Merck & Company (MSD) ‘Molnupiravir’. Ahead of the introduction of the treatment, the government recently conducted related education to public health centers, related institutions, and pharmacies in charge.

Paxrovid pills provided by Pfizer last October. New York = AP News

Regarding the fourth inoculation and the use of the vaccine for Omicron, there are many variables, so it is not known at this time. The third vaccination is in progress, and considering the interval between vaccinations for immunocompromised patients, it is early March, so it is too early to mention the fourth vaccination. Jeong-ik Hong, head of the vaccination management team, said, “Currently, the third vaccination is important for the prevention of delta and omicron, and it is necessary to determine the effect of lasting immunity.

[ⓒ 세계일보 & Segye.com, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]

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