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Oh my God! Eyebrows rose after learning about COVID-19 in China, then we hear about a national lockdown in Italy— “We don’t have any time. The numbers are showing that there has been a significant growth in infections, people in intensive care and deaths,” announced Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy in his national lockdown speech. “Our habits have to change right now. We must give things up for Italy.” Huh? Whispers are turning into confusion and escalate into intense anxiety, preparation, some panicing intermittently when Cristina Higgins, an American who currently lives in Italy, painted a daunting picture of the devastating spread of COVID-19 infection spread among the Italian population, the hospital healthcare system with its triage, nurses collapsing at work with their masks on during the national lockdown in Italy.
So, a little about me: I’m a health and gerospsychologist in NYC. Upon entering the long and short term care facility at work, I’m screened with questions and for a fever before going beyong security. My patients and their families and friends have strong, mixed reactions to the visitor ban. OMG. My patients are lonely and do not know when and in some cases, IF they will ever see their loved ones again. In my 10 years of geropsychological work, I have NEVER seen such drastic and severe changes in such a short amount of time. With older parents who have underlying health conditions, I’m qite concerned. Heck, I have underlying health conditions and will be 50 in less than a month. Holy moly. Is this real?
An escalation of scientific articles online, some questionable “is this sensational or fake news” articles (such as China claiming that COVID-19 is “airborne”, date Sept 2, 2020 and posted on about March 14, 2020 haha wink wink), a barrage of updates from Mayors, Senators, and Federal officials concerning the ramifications of the virus in every aspect of our lives that is removing ourselves from our benchmark of normalcy at pace with which we can barely keep up! One day Mayor De Blasio of NYC insists that the ppublic schools will NOT close with his reasons, people demanding he reverse his stance, Governor Cuomo of New York insisting that the schools close and voila! Today, at about 5:41pm Sundnay night, the Mayor announces that the public school system will be shut town starting MMonday March 16th 2020 until at LEAST April 20th, 2020. Also, tonight at around 10:15, bars and restaruants and cafes will only be able to offer take out and delivery services while nightclubs, movie theaters, small thereater houses and concert venues will be shut down by his Executive Order on Tuesday March 17th! Unprecedented and unfamomable not only to those born after the H1N1 influenza post 1918-1919, but to all of us just about 4-5 days prior. What a humbling experience not only for the public, but given the conflicting, falllse and undetermined factors that coincide with COVID-19, humbling to the medical and scientific communities, political and overall health care industries as well. Which leads me to my next point…..
This gives each and every one of us to push the “reset” button for the greater good on every level as we know it. Be safe and well everyone. Let’s take care of ourselves, each other, and the planet.
When an apocalypse feels like it’s at the tip of your fingertips, waiting to usurp you and those you care about, remember this: informed decisions and preparation help regulate the nervous system. Panic mode is a train wreck waiting to happen. #frazzleandfrenzyfreeamidcovid19/20!