Dealing with COVID has been challenging for everyone at so many levels; however, some of the most difficult conflicts are between individuals who have different perspectives on the pandemic.
How many of you and your clients are struggling with issues such as:
1. The mask debate?
2. Whose fault is it that we have COVID?
3. Should we do virtual learning from home by not letting kids go to school when bars are open for in person drinking?
4. How do we prevent the spread of the virus without destroying our economy?
5. Is there a "safe" way to have holiday festivities with friends and family?
6. Is it a medical or political issue?
7. Should I allow my kids to participate in activities such as school and sports?
8. Will the vaccine be safe? Should I get the vaccine? Should I have my kids get the vaccine?
These are some of the many questions we are all facing as are our clients. As a psychologist, how do I help clients, when there seems to be little guidance on what's a healthy response?
What I've decided is this:
1. I listen to the medical experts and read the reports from experts at Harvard Medical School, the Centers for Disease Control, and other publications from infection disease specialists. For those of you who are old enough, we went through some of this with HIV/AIDS, SARS, Ebola, and many other viruses.
Here's the link for Harvard Medical School's COVID19 Resource Center
Or, the American Medical Association COVID 19 Resources
COVID19 Vaccine Research
Discussions by medical experts on the progress on COVID19 vaccines
2. Listen to and read reports from the experts. How does it make sense to make medical and health decisions based on what you hear, believe, and practice based on information provided by politicians and news reporters? I would encourage you to check with a trusted medical professional instead and make your informed decisions with guidance from experts.
3. It seems consistent that wearing masks, social distancing, and not meeting in large groups is sound advice until the vaccines are dispersed. What also makes sense is to build your immune system by eating well, getting enough sleep and exercise, loosing weight, and taking immune boosting supplements. What's the big deal with wearing masks for health and wellness? Emergency Responders, Medical Professionals, and Food Handlers have been wearing them for years. It just prevents the spread of lots of yucky stuff and protects the wearer, too. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks
4. Make sure you talk about any anxiety and fears with each other and consult a mental health expert for the stress and trauma you might encounter from COVID. Being healthy - mind/body/spirit will help you more effectively fight off any stresses and viruses.
5. Laugh by watching things that are funny. Tell jokes. Cook together. Tell people you love them every day. Hold virtual family meetings or reunions with those you love but can't be with for now.
Maybe we can appreciate all that we have had and take care of one another. We are all in this together - so we beat it together or are defeated together. My money is on the fact that if we all come together, we can beat COVID19 and be stronger.
6. Ultimately, I have to believe that I did everything within my power to keep myself and my family as healthy and safe as we can be. I have to have a team of educated and informed experts to consult with to make healthy and informed decisions. This has always been true and will continue to be true after COVID19.
I have had family members get COVID19 and some had no symptoms. Some young and older ones have been hospitalized and still survived. And, we lost a beloved family member to multi-organ failure after his body beat COVID19. Unfortunately COVID19's damage had done so much harm he couldn't survive. And, I have family members now experiencing long-term respiratory, cardiac, and cognitive damage after recovering from COVID19. It is a mysterious, inconsistent, and sometimes deadly virus that is best prevented. Some of my friends are donating convalescent plasma after beating COVID19, but it turns out it doesn't last forever.
Here are some sites I'm following that I believe keep me up to date on the most accurate information:
I hope you and your family are safe and well!
Happy Holidays wherever you and whatever you celebrate!