Coping Strategies During COVID-19: Health Humanities Approach

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Ms. Pallabi Maji, Dr. Arindam Modak


“Knock, knock, knock. Who's there i'th’ name of Beelzebub?”— This line occurs in the third scene of the second act of Macbeth by Shakespeare (Shakespeare, 1606/2008). This scene, known as the Porter Scene, brings a brief comic relief after the tragic death of King Duncan. Likewise, social media, OTT platforms, television, arts and humanities, and Internet memes bring comic relief to the mentally disturbed people when the fear of death is knocking at the door during COVID-19. On 30th April 2020, a survey report published in TheTimes of India states: “It was found that during the lockdown, respondents showed high involvement with social media . . . . This prolonged engagement with social media, watching movies, and continuous rest or sleeping can be viewed as an escape or coping mechanism” (Malkarnekar, 2020). Social media, Internet memes have brought people in contact with other people during the contactless pandemic. At the time of maintaining physical distance, people feel a kind of community feeling by sharing memes, and these play the role of a recovery tool during this turmoil situation. Paul Crawford and others mention that medicine is not the only solution for the well-being of human beings; art can also act as a means to connect individuals and alleviate social exclusion (Crawford et al., 2015). These methods, which fall outside medicine, protect human beings from the fear of death and from getting depressed by giving them mental solace even within the COVID-19 pandemic. The present paper will try to figure out various coping strategies during COVID-19 by applying the methodology of Health Humanities. This paper will add a new dimension to the medical field by exploring the curing capability of arts and humanities in treating COVID-19 affected patients.

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