Valerie Rice | February 9, 2021
We are coming up on what, for many of us here in the States, is the 1 year anniversary of quarantine. I first went into quarantine in mid February of last year, just a few short days before Colorado’s governor Polis ordered the official Shelter in Place order. I have barely left home since. The full impact of the pandemic is barely starting to hit home for many, particularly those tucked safely away from the frontlines. For others, they struggle to grasp the dangers of the virus and fight against health precautions to the point of wilful ignorance. From my isolated view, the country is a dystopia, and it shocks me everytime I head out to a doctor’s appointment. What on EARTH is happening? Well, let us look at the impact of Covid-19 on our collective.
Look, most of us are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, so I won’t go too much into it right now. Click Here for a quick review. With the children out of school and parents out of work, nutritional needs are not being met. For many children across the country, school was the primary source of nutrition prior to the pandemic. Once the shut downs and online classes started, food security went out the window (Goldstein, Wen & Miller, 2019). Speaking of food, have you noticed how grocery prices have skyrocketed? Food inflation in 2020 was much higher than the last 20 years overall. What does this have to do with anything? Well, according to Maslow, it is increasingly difficult if not impossible for the US population to meet their basic physical needs. And it isn’t just food. It is housing, heat, clothing, medication, and the virus itself.
ARE WE HOMOSAPIENS???
We are! We are humans, and humans are a social species that rely on cooperation to survive. Not only does this speak out against capitalism (yep. Feral jab.) it ALSO screams in protest to the nature of quarantine.And yet,, without quarantine measures, much fewer would have survived this far. So um. What now? Well, unfortunately, our leaders are JUST NOW responding to the pandemic, and it is like closing the barn doors after the horse has escaped. Mental health has plummeted. Those with existing conditions are worsening, children are having increasing problems, and those who may not have developed mental health problems otherwise, but are predisposed genetically, now are. Additionally, the pandemic has created an environment in which we are daily exposed to death and the threat of death, which is a cause of post-traumatic stress. Click Here for more on that topic. Oh yeah, death. Death creates a vacuum in our lives as well as grief and mourning. Click Here for more. Basically, this is a time of mental health horror.
SUBSTANCES AND SUICIDE
According to Czeisler et al, The numbers of SA and SI have gone up an alarming amount. I’m pretty sure you guys saw this coming. I know I did. Thanks to everything mentioned, these have been on the rise. Humans are not the only victims of the virus. Our social, political, and economic structures are crumbling. Businesses go under, workers are laid off by the thousands, billionaires continue to suck money from the poor, and suffering seeps into the minds of millions. A class consciousness starts to form, and the poor fight back. The fight for sanity and equity is being fought online and in wall street as well as on Capitol Hill. Again, this is a dystopia, and people are turning to self medication or just refusing to continue with the hell hole of the USA . I mean I feel that, but it is a tragic loss of life we need to lay at the feet of those who refused to respond to covid. The numbers of the dead are staggering. Simply staggering.
I wish I had something positive to say today. So here goes. Mass shootings were down in 2020. Carbon emissions dropped worldwide in 2020. LeVar Burton reads to people on twitter. He’s my hero guys, I watched reading Rainbow every day as a kid. Hell, I named my second child after his character on Star Trek: TNG. Not everything is awful. Normal is gone and we need a new one for now and later when we are healthy and immunized. So I have an idea. A really, really, good one. Let’s hold our communities up. Let’s actually BE a community. If we have to rebuild everything else we will. But let us first hold the line at this; let’s reach out but stay in. Stay close while staying apart. And cover our Fking Faces! Until next time: Be Well!
Czeisler MÉ , Lane RI, Petrosky E, et al. Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020. MCzeisler MÉ , Lane RI, Petrosky E, et al. Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1049–1057. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6932a1external icon.MWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1049–1057. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6932a1
Golberstein E, Wen H, Miller BF. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Mental Health for Children and Adolescents. JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(9):819–820. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.1456