Experience of Palestinian Children During COVID 19 Pandemic Lockdown: A Descriptive Phenomenological Study

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Ayoub, Haneen
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جامعة النجاح الوطنية
The global COVID-19 pandemic is currently one of the most important worldwide issues that is of international concern. The breakout of the disease that began in China has continued to spread to other regions and countries, Palestine included. Palestine has been in a state of emergency since March 2020 with strict policies of lockdown and home confinement implemented gradually. Students have been at home since the beginning of this emergency status. Little attention is devoted to the psychological impact of the pandemic and its measures on populations especially children. The surge of information, anxiety, panic, restlessness and uncertainty surrounding these circumstances, loss of contact with friends and school as well as changes in the daily routine leaves children vulnerable to psychological difficulties. Several studies conducted worldwide during the pandemic reflected symptoms of depression, anxiety, behavioral and emotional difficulties. The aim of this study is to explore and understand the lived experiences of Palestinian children under lockdown due to the COVID-19. The approach of the study is qualitative that results in comprehensive information regarding the psychological impact of this situation on children. The results of the study showed several themes of awareness, feelings of depression and anxiety, frustrations at loss of normalcy and change of routine, as well as feelings of uncertainty. The current Palestinian context also offers a perspective into the perception of risk in regards to Palestinian children. The results also provide paradoxical findings including not only negative impact but also positive impact of the lockdown in terms of family relationships and and quality time. Palestinian children and adolescent much like their peers worldwide experienced a negative psychological impact during the pandemic lockdown and probably continue to do so as the pandemic is still ongoing. The uncertainty and loss of ability to predict and plan are thought to be the riskiest one of all. Special attention should be dedicated to the psychological well-being of children and adolescent during this period and in the aftermath of the pandemic.
COVID-19, coronavirus, lockdown, psychological, quarantine