As America becomes the center of the global coronavirus pandemic (surpassing both China and Italy in the number of confirmed cases), it’s time we take a look at another insidious problem that isn’t that much talked about: the unprecedented level of psychological trauma it will give our healthcare workers and their patients.
In a mere matter of a few months, the coronavirus managed to grow itself from a few isolated cases in the Chinese province of Wuhan to the global pandemic that it is today, affecting hundreds of thousands of people from different countries all over the world. And while some of these countries have managed to contain the outbreak and quickly provide help to its citizens, the majority is still struggling despite a lot of them being first world nations.
As such, health workers and frontliners have been put on the line in order to help contain the virus and help affected individuals. But with the lack of proper resources and PPEs, it’s not surprising why many of them have felt frustrated, anxious and vulnerable while facing the virus. After all, how can you help protect someone when you can’t even protect yourself?
These days, N95 masks for workers are in short supply, leading to some using makeshift or homemade masks in order to shield themselves. Add to the fact that current mortality rates say that even with their best efforts, the sickest COVID-19 patients will still die, and it’s not hard to see why even the most optimistic and driven workers start feeling self-doubt and anguish.
Because of this, it’s no surprise that our healthcare workers’ mental health have suffered tremendously during the pandemic, with surveys and studies proving just that. And as the short-term effects on mental health have started showing, then it’s only natural for the long-term ones to start manifesting soon.
Nevertheless, all hope is not lost. And despite the pandemic, these front liners are still pushing and showing up to work every day and doing their absolute best. So now is the time to support them more than ever.