Year: 2020 Source: Journal of Psychiatric Research. (2020). doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2020.08.021 SIEC No: 20200790

By the first week of August 2020, the novel coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) had spread to over 275 countries, regions or territories, with over 19 million confirmed cases, and over 700,000 confirmed deaths worldwide (Worldometer, 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has affected people from all walks of life and all ages (Mamun and Griffiths, 2020a). Anxiety as well as emotional anguish is known to be associated with widespread outbreaks of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 (Montemurro, 2020). In 2003, during the SARS epidemic, social isolation and disengagement amongst the older adult population were reported to be among the probable reasons for an increase in their suicides (Cheung et al., 2008). Strict spatial distancing measures, social isolation, and enforced quarantine can have a negative impact on an individual’s mental health. Such seclusion as well as societal disconnect associated with public health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, clearly have the potential to impact several indices related to the psychological wellbeing of the general public (Satici et al., 2020).