The year is 2045 and Balu, who is 25-years-old, has begun to talk and behave strangely. It is apparent, fairly soon, that he has a major mental illness. He is taken to a psychiatrist, a diagnosis of schizophrenia is made, and an antipsychotic drug s prescribed. Balu will need to continue antipsychotic treatment for months to years, and possibly for life. This is bad news for the family because, just a year earlier, his mother, aged 50 years, was found to have diabetes and high blood pressure, and his father, aged 60 years, suffered a stroke.

Could all of this bad news have arisen from a single black swan event, the COVID-19 pandemic that swept across the world during 2020, and the lockdown that was declared during the pandemic? The answer, surprisingly, is yes.

Almost everybody knows that COVID-19 is a serious respiratory disease that is characterised by fever, cough, difficulty in breathing, and other symptoms. Almost everybody knows that, during the lockdown, people are anxious, restless, irritable, and uneasy, and that some may worry themselves into depression. However, few people realise that COVID-19 and the lockdown can result in delayed harms to health, some of which may arise even decades later.

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