Quarantine is defined as the separation of individuals who may have been exposed to an infectious disease from the rest of the population to determine if they are ill and to reduce their risk of infecting others. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, quarantine has been used as a public health strategy to reduce disease transmission. COVID-19 quarantine efforts have ranged from the mass quarantine of entire cities in China, to isolation in government-run
facilities, to self-isolation at home.
While quarantine can broadly serve the public good, it is also associated with psychological challenges for those quarantined, their loved ones, and the healthcare workers caring for them. Described here are the psychological effects of quarantine, as well as strategies for how healthcare providers can care for their patients’ and their own mental well-being during periods of quarantine.