As we are watching a bit of a resurgence of COVID-19 we recognize the resilience of this pandemic. It continues to spread even after months of exposure and such devastating impact.
I think we are all wishing that this would end soon. It is exhausting to continue all the protection measures in our schools, homes and community.
In a recent article in Psychology Today entitled “Pandemic Psychology,” Dr. James F. Zender writes about the overwhelming consequences of this pandemic. Here are some quotes from the article:
It seems with the current COVID-19 pandemic, the world is immersed in a “spirit of trauma.” Many people have fallen ill and, once recovered, continue to cope with perplexing lingering symptoms. Countless people have lost loved ones as a result of complications caused by the virus; many have had to close their businesses and many have lost their livelihoods . . .
The world has a great deal of trauma processing to do in response to the global pandemic. We must draw on all of humanity’s resources to make lemonade out of lemons. When I bemoaned the many traumas I encountered in my patients and in my own life, my training analyst, who was a Holocaust survivor, would often say,“Trauma is opportunity in worker’s clothing.” The enlightened attitude to trauma is that it will ultimately be revealed as a gift—albeit an often painful gift—that can lead us to a deeper understanding of love and compassion.
Dr. Michael Osterholm, the Minnesota infectious disease professor and public health expert, talks about how we as a society are dealing with pandemic fatigue and pandemic anger. I think many of us are also dealing with pandemic freeze. We know from Hans Selye’s adaptation to stress model that after dealing with an inescapable stress, a state of exhaustion and collapse follows.
Many of us are struggling with how our brains our working less optimally. We might also be dealing with some unpredictable emotions, high levels of stress and anxiety and a general sense of dysregulation. Dr. Zender makes some common-sense recommendations to bring balance back into our lives. This is not a scenario that will be ending soon. Therefore, for some time we will be managing and navigating the circumstances in our lives in a way that will allow us to cope and endure the long haul of this pandemic.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO