The COVID-19 outbreak has not only forced people to battle with the disease, but has also forced them to cope with the anxiety due to financial instability.
Good lifestyle decisions are the key to maintaining a healthy immune system. Especially during this unprecedented pandemic, keeping a check on our immunity is of top priority. To strengthen our immune system, we must eat a well-balanced diet, get enough sleep, and practice mindfulness through yoga, meditation, and regular exercise. Vitamin-rich diets and specialized immunity-boosting foods like turmeric, almonds, and other foods can truly enhance our bodies’ natural defense system.
But what can we do when our emotional well-being is compromised because of this uncertain period? While we can regulate our diet to keep up our physical health, taking care of our mental health is also of extreme importance. Stress is a significant component that plays a role in maintaining our physical immunity. Increased stress levels can cause a person’s mental immunity to deteriorate, affecting their physical immunity as well. Let’s look at how this works.
COVID-19 IMPACT ON MENTAL HEALTH
The most important thing to remember about any extreme health crisis such as the COVID-19 outbreak, is that it affects not only our body but also our mental health. Medical authorities all around the world have issued guidelines warning us about the negative effects of physical separation and social isolation on our mental health.
Fear is the most prevalent emotion all of us are experiencing right now, making us uneasy and panicked. As governments throughout the world take precautions to safeguard their citizens from the spread of COVID-19, this pandemic will have far-reaching public health and economic repercussions. Many excellent businesses have been placed on hold because of the lockdown, and on-field businesses have been totally shut down. There has been an increase in unemployment because of restricted employment opportunities. Long-term financial troubles because of the threat of job loss and wage reduction, low levels of awareness, and mental stress have all been shown to have a terrible impact on our physical immunity. Add in the financial anxiety of troubling questions like –
What if I or someone I care about contracts COVID-19?
How am I going to handle my finances while I’m already on the verge of losing my job?
Financial woes become a major source of the downslide of our emotional wellbeing.
The Financial Immunity Survey 2.0
In a nation where one-third of the population continues to suffer from lower-income as a result of the pandemic, it’s encouraging to see that people are becoming more conscious of the need for financial security. When it comes to the ongoing pandemic, the significance of financial stability is paramount, especially in the event of a disaster. We are making life decisions assuming that there is an impending crisis because of the pandemic that might cause a roadblock to our plans at any time.
As a result, there is more uncertainty when compared to the first wave with the range being 41% to 57%. The findings of the survey conducted by SBI Life Insurance revealed that one of the most significant challenges is that the growing expense of living is producing anxiety, followed by the cost of medical treatments.
SBI Life Insurance commissioned the Financial Immunity Survey 2.0, which was conducted in collaboration with Nielsen IQ (India Pvt. Ltd).
The survey sample size was 5,000, covering 28 metros and tier 1, 2, and 3 cities. The survey’s male to female participation ratio was 80:20, with 50:50 participation in the age groups 21-35 and 35-45.
According to the life insurer, 64% of Indians believe the pandemic has impacted their milestones, and 60% have spent less on non-essential products. “Indians set aside 50% of their earnings for savings, investments, and/or insurance. In 2021, 75% of people had renewed their life and health insurance.”
The insurer stated that while Indians value insurance; they appear to be underinsured, with approximately 3.8 times their annual income covered, which is less than the necessary 10X/25X of yearly income.
According to the survey, the epidemic has highlighted the need for insurance. Up to 46% of the population bought health insurance for the first time during Covid-19. During the epidemic, 44% of people bought life insurance for the first time.
FINANCIAL IMMUNITY IS A STRESS RELIEVER
With the onset of anxieties caused by the pandemic, the public is becoming more aware of the need for financial security. According to the report, there is an increased focus on savings, with Indian citizens saving more now and using half of their income to develop financial resilience through savings, investments, and insurance.
According to the report, 57% of Indians believe that financial immunity is linked to financial security and stability. When there is a sense of stability in life, our mind relaxes and stops worrying so much about the uncertainties and risks that are given in the pandemic. It contributes towards better mental health, which then helps us be more productive, make plans, and be prepared for anything that life may throw at us.
OPTIONS FOR ENSURING FINANCIAL STABILITY
Covering yourself with a health insurance policy has become a need in these extraordinary times. The Indian government and the IRDAI have been working tirelessly to help the masses with the accessible and affordable ‘Aarogya Sanjeevani’ policy for new entrants. This was largely done to raise awareness of important financial instruments for low-income households during times of crisis. Companies had also created a specialized and comprehensive COVID-19 insurance cover and made it available digitally to avoid any physical contact for individuals and organizations wishing to protect themselves from the consequences of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
COVID-19 indemnity insurance includes not only financial protection against diagnosis, quarantine, and treatment but also costs associated with pre-and post-hospitalization, day-care procedures, and specific treatments.
KEEPING FUTURE UNCERTAINTIES AT BAY
Overall, health insurance becomes mission-vital in these unique times to create your financial immunity, aside from managing your funds correctly. This will help you avoid unexpected financial and personal interruptions, as well as improve your physical immunity. Your immunity will be greater if you take less stress because
“ Life is 10% of what you experience and 90% of how you respond to it”
– Dorothy M. Neddermeyer