“PCNS’ TUESDAYS” JUNE 30TH 2020: THE EFFECT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE FAMILY
As part of its weekly series "PCNS’s Tuesdays” (Mardis du PCNS), the Policy Center for the New South organized a webinar on June 30th, 2020, under the theme: "The Effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Individual and the Family". In order to explain the situation of individuals and families in times of crisis, the speakers focused on the social and psychological aspects of the consequences of the pandemic and the lockdown.
Abdellatif Kedai, researcher in sociology & dean of the faculty of education sciences at Mohammed V University in Rabat, explained the extent of the psychological and sociological consequences of the pandemic on the individual within the society, considering the conflict of roles between family members that have become limited to indoors. The latter increased the pressure that once used to be relieved in outdoors. In this case, the house has become the only space for individuals to practice their activities which doubles their effort to grasp the pandemic reality, on one hand, and to continue their daily activities, such as studying and working remotely, on the other.
In contrast, Abdellah El Alaoui, professor of law and psychology, sees that this stress could result into an unequal psychological growth for children. Taking into account the cultural aspect as well as the level of awareness among individuals, the communication with the child will not be covering their needs within the family and in the outside world which leads to a role conflict and difficulties with prioritization of daily tasks.
Additionally, Jihad Binmoussa, psychologist and CEO of InspireCorp, stated that the youth of the new generation have more intense feelings and emotions, considering their daily exposure to pressure on social media platforms, which makes them at most risk of severe depression and anxiety. These variables distinguish this generations’ social interaction and mental health in times of crisis which can result into unusual behaviors.
Finally, professor and clinical psychologist El Mostafa Rezrazi explained to what extent the pandemic disrupted daily lives of individuals, causing an increase in panic and fear, reflecting negatively on families, especially on members in difficult situations such as addicts, sickened, abused, etc. In light of these circumstances, he sees that a reconsideration, of the pillars of a society that believes in the values of cohesion and solidarity, is much needed to reduce violence and fragility in time of crisis. The expert insists on the importance of counselling and psychological services in schools to provide means of adaptation and resilience for future crisis.