The symptoms are easy to notice. Sleep and appetite disturbances. Feeling anxious, on edge, stressed out, confused. Difficulty concentrating, guilt, shame, anger, mood swings and hopelessness. Withdrawing from loved ones.
Do any of them sound familiar? They’re all caused by trauma, and to describe the past year as anything less than traumatic is to minimize the experiences of healthcare workers who were at the center of the pandemic. From the early struggles of not having enough PPE and the intense and debilitating fear that you might bring COVID-19 home to your family, to the rise of the delta and omicron variants — which feels like the strange rerun of a horror movie no one wanted to watch the first time — you’ve faced difficult challenges while juggling the pressures of the pandemic collapse: virtual schooling, the economy in free fall and some of the most extreme political upheaval our nation has ever experienced. Yes, to call the past year anything less than traumatic is to minimize what you have sacrificed for the greater good of our society.