“Domestic trenches” – Systemic outcomes of home isolation in the Covid-19 period

“Domestic trenches” – Systemic outcomes of home isolation in the Covid-19 period

During the Covid-19 period, home isolation can help contain and control the spread of infections and disease, however it is not without negative medium-long term psychological consequences.


Advertising message It is well established in psychology and in public health literature that social isolation has harmful consequences for well-being, with effects comparable to other well-known risks, such as cigarette smoking.

Anguish and irritability due to lack of social contact, loss of freedom and boredom during quarantine are linked according to some studies (see the bibliography) to consequences such as depressive symptoms and substance dependence that can be extended up to three years later the end of the quarantine.

The causes of this catastrophe, both for the health of citizens and for the entire economy of the country, are essentially to be intercepted in a temporal delay of the collective awareness of the threat; unfortunately, those who shouted “wolf” with the wolf behind them have not been listened to, so the danger has spread so much that it suggests a reconfiguration of the whole society towards new standards of behavior (eg handwashing, don’t touch etc .) but above all, indispensable, is the availability of a model to be followed in case of pandemics, as adopted by the city of Taiwan.

Also, you will have to filter out any information without leaving it to the mere criterion mostly journalistic, so often superficial under the cloak of beautiful writing, or to the mostly quick debates, narcissistically tendentious and pressappochist, where it follows an equally personal criterion of the citizen in social networks, guided by fleeting impressions or surreptitious ideas of those who provided conflicting and unclear versions of the viral threat. An effect of isolation?

When it comes to isolation, attention is focused on social relations; however, another question intervenes with this question: how to interrupt the relationships that the economy has created, the same relationships with which the virus feeds?

In the collective imagination, hospitals are considered crucial points of “recovery of lives”, they are relationships with survival; in the same way one can speak of a “survival of the economy” of a nation where the aforementioned relationships are “infected”.

Attacking them first means being a dangerous war strategist!

Like a sniper in war who aims at the medical officer so that he does not recover lives that go towards almost certain death. Loss, in this case, is inevitable.

Positioning yourself in a “secure base” while remaining in your own homes is a strategic choice which is in turn useful in fighting the threat. Isolation (for infected subjects) or semi-isolation (also for healthy subjects) is a defensive tactic implemented in our model against the biological attack of the virus. However, the “domestic trenches” are not free from as many dangers.

If the initial part of the isolation can be dealt with efficiently, almost as if it were a holiday, in a second period the sensation is of a black-and-white experience, the “emptied” existence of the soul; sloth, aggression, loss of habits, delusions of persecution and negative self-dialogue can arise in many people. Social networks are a mirror, a clear denunciation of these inconveniences.

Certainly the comparison with the film pales the infinite Trench, a story inspired by real events in which a man is forced to hide for over thirty years from the fascist dictatorship. The military, sifting house after house, pushed him to descend into a mini bunker built under the floor which had become his new “safe base”.

Advertising message In normal everyday life, the one made up of work, family, leisure etc. our body recites an “altered” psycho-genetic model on an individual, environmental and cumulative processes (lifestyle, habits learned etc.) combined with an ingredient that generates an apparent freedom, sedation and safety: mass consumerism , which translates into the possibility of being able to use “unlimitedly” every good, even at the expense of life (eg intensive animal breeding).

In advanced capitalism in which, to put it with JK Galbraith, the “society of opulence” resides that man resembles sapiens or a package of peanut butter, it does not matter. Primary needs are built, like commercial products to be consumed indiscriminately. Even man is configured as such: a good to consume, paraphrasing Matthew 5-26, “until you have paid until the last penny!”

The economy changes our psychology. It conveys a transcendent message to our unconscious: excess of security and happiness, the omni par excellence: technology as a tool that arranges everything with minimal effort; interstellar travel as a symbol of domination over other planets; crazy expenses for superfluous goods; needs are invented, but also life (cloning); we cradle, as in the spot of the infamous Coca-Cola, in a “world without borders” that replaces us with God, as if we had control over every molecule of the cosmos or the story we wrote without the participation of meteorites, earthquakes or viruses .

But the aforementioned capitalist system is apparently perfect, it is self-nourishing: managing a large amount of people with the creation of new mass needs which in turn generate purchases that feed the system itself through a constant “expenditure” of energy: consumerism, in fact.

Level each individual by weakening, and then removing, the shell of individuality. Dangerous logic in an age when they have an unwanted guest at home: an equally dangerous virus.

This is one of the reasons that explains the systemic approach: the connection between our immune system and the economy where our mental health flows. Everything is connected.

I understand that you would have expected me to write about psychological complexes in isolation and how to deal with them, but I am of the opinion that it is good to talk about the context and relationships with which we live daily, given that the discomfort, happiness, safety and so on naturally emerge from our environment. Groom with this article (but it is not said that he does it with others, given that certain issues require “multiple points of view”) Hillman’s perspective when he speaks of psychotherapy: “[…] rarely the symptoms have healed, hardly the marriages saved , the jobs found; addictions, depressions, suicides are not avoided “.

Although not starting from the premise of the uselessness of psychotherapy, I see this intervention as a change of trajectory with a modern focus projected to create techniques or remedies aimed at “adjusting” psychological issues that are the result, I would say physiological, of an environment, of a ” “flexible” eco-system: everything is fine as long as there are no obstacles.

Beyond any consideration of the effectiveness of some approaches, there is a serious reconfiguration of our society to take seriously in a period that pushes us to give our best, both to the therapist and to the individual forced into their home trench.