Gurugram woman locked herself and son in for 3 years due to Coronaphobia, fear of catching Covid

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadFeb 23, 2023 | 15:51

Gurugram woman locked herself and son in for 3 years due to Coronaphobia, fear of catching Covid

Woman locked herself and her son for three years in their home in fear of Covid. Photo: ANI

For one 33-year-old woman in Gurugram, the fear of Covid-19 was so bad that she locked herself and her 11-year-old son up in their home for THREE years straight. The police, acting on the husband's complaint, finally persuaded the woman to come to the police station and were able to rescue the boy locked in the house. 

What happened? 

  • The police say that Munmun Majhi locked herself and her son at their home for three years in fear that the son would die as soon as he stepped out. 
  • Sujan Majhi, the husband, approached the police multiple times but they brushed it off as a domestic issue. 
  • However, when a police officer finally spoke to the woman on a video call and saw the boy with shoulder-length hair, he was shocked to see the state. 
His mother was in panic over Covid. She had no intent of stepping out. She kept saying, 'I will not let my son step out because he will die immediately'.
- A police officer from Gurugram
  • Initially, the woman refused to step out of the house and threatened authorities that she would kill the boy if they attempted to rescue them. 
I kept talking to her, kept asking her if she needs any help. I think she started trusting me.
- A police officer
  • Later, with the help of child welfare teams, the police were able to convince the woman to come to the police station. She came alone, leaving the boy locked in the house. 
  • The police along with the father broke into the house to rescue the boy. Now, both the mother and the son have been hospitalised. 
  • The authorities were shocked to see the condition of the inside of the home when they finally broke in. There was three years worth of garbage strewn on the floor. 

How did the woman and the son survive?

  • The husband kept clearing all the bills and leaving them ration while staying at a nearby house. 


How did the situation turn this bad?

  • Investigation says that initially during the lockdown, the family lived together. Then, when the first lockdown was lifted and the husband went to office, the woman locked him out of the house. 
  • At first, the husband thought the situation will pass soon and stayed at friends' and relatives' places. When it didn't, he rented a nearby apartment and finally approached the police for help. 

The morbid fear of Covid-19

While it is unknown whether the woman suffered from mental health issues before the pandemic or not, Covid-19 has given rise to a new wave of psychological issues. 

One of them is called Coronaphobia. Research published on NCBI described the expressions “fear of Covid-19” and ‘coronaphobia’ as the fear of contracting Covid-19.

  • It is the fear of the risk of infection, dying and other socioeconomic outcomes brought on by the pandemic specifically in relation to the novel coronavirus. 
  • The American Psychiatric Association defines phobia as an anxiety disorder triggered by irrational or excessive fear of an object, situation, animal, activity or person. 
  • A phobia makes people avoid the trigger of fear. In the case of the Gurugram incident, this avoidance was likely the Covid-19 virus outside the home and social interactions. 
  • While the natural fear of infection and dying exists among all, in the case of a phobia, the fear interferes with routine life, and the ability to complete tasks and causes a state of panic. 
  • Research also says that fear related to Covid-19 might manifest as sociooccupational stress.
Last updated: February 23, 2023 | 15:51
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