All over the world, hundreds of thousands of people are forced into lockdown, quarantine or are required to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These circumstances involve little face-to-face contact with others, and many individuals have also not been able to go outside for weeks.

Amid this pandemic, a UBC professor has been granted federal funding to research the effects of such quarantine on mental health. Dr. Yue Qian, a professor of sociology at UBC, was originally from Wuhan, China, the epicentre from where the virus supposedly originated. As a result, Dr. Qian states, “I feel the responsibility to understand the process.” Dr Qian believes that the outbreak of COVID-19 is “deeply embedded in real people’s lives.”

Dr. Qian is among numerous UBC researchers who collectively received $2.8 million from the federal government to develop research about this virus. However, Dr. Qian brings a new perspective to the COVID-19 pandemic by looking at its psychological impacts on mental health as opposed to just physical health. “We need to work together to help people under quarantine to stay connected with the outside world,” says Dr. Qian.