Loss of Life
There have been a recorded 101,351 deaths in the United States from COVID-19 as of 5-27-20 10:50 am. Although this may only be .03% of the US population, comparing that number to the number of US casualties from the Vietnam War (58,220) gives it a new perspective. Although we aren’t hearing battlefield stories from the survivors the same as someone coming back from war these deaths still matter especially to those people who have lost a family member or friend.
This loss to our families, friends, and communities is a different experience than a normal death. With the majority of hospitals and nursing homes limiting visitors or not allowing them at all, people that are dying from COVID-19 or any other ailment are not able to have their loved ones with them when they die. Because of this new restriction, many facilities have taken steps to reconnect patients with their loved ones through video chat using phones or tablets. This adaptation is one of many that Hospitals and nursing homes are doing to help people during the end of life care hopefully creating a more meaningful experience for everyone.
There are two main concerns that seem to be fighting against each other at the moment, they are Public Health and the Economy. Some people seem to be focused more on Public Health and delaying the reopening of our society and others seem to care more about the Economy and want our society to reopen as quickly as possible. The majority of our leaders in Government are working to find a balance where we can slow the spread of COVID-19 enough so that we can focus heavily on testing and contact tracing allowing for businesses and social activities to start up again without the fear that the virus will spread out of control again. Right now we are at a turning point where states and cities have begun to reopen and our health officials will be watching and hoping that a second wave doesn’t happen. The cooperation to follow health guidelines will be critical to ensure that our communities stay safe now and in the future.
Each persons experience being on lockdown has been unique but there are some challenges that the majority of people are facing:
– limited social interaction
– increased interaction with people we live with
– financial instability/concern
– new working conditions
– new social norms
In dealing with these changes it is important to remember that self-care including getting enough sleep, eating a healthy and balanced diet, having healthy social interactions via phone and video, and exercising regularly are all important to maintain in our new existence. For more in depth advise check out the article https://psychiatry.ucsf.edu/coronavirus/coping