Sometimes the best thing to hear is: You are not alone. It's a tough time for everybody, and when we or our loved ones are trying to care for people in a difficult and sometimes dangerous environment, it can seem very isolating. Even when our community and the whole country are going through this right beside us.
So it was not surprising to hear that over 25 percent of adults in this country are reporting feelings of depression, up from 8.5 percent before the onset of Covid-19, according to the World Economic Forum, citing a September 2, 2020, article in JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association. (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2770146)
After all, parents are worried, whether their children are back in school or their children now are learning remotely. Teachers are overwhelmed by the risks they face being in the classroom and the need to juggle teaching in-class and remote students. Doctors, nurses and all caregivers are contending with new challenges.
Meanwhile, people in higher-risk categories, including those 65 years and older and those with comorbidities, try to stay away from family and friends to protect themselves. This country has over six and a half million cases of Covid-19 and we are facing a fall and winter cold and flu season as cases continue to rise. And yes, the use of masks and increased hand hygiene can help protect others and decrease the severity of illness in ourselves. Yet these simple measures have become controversial due to a political polarization that serves nobody. Along with the isolation and real stressors that we live with, this leads to feelings of depression and hopelessness.
But in such a time, groups like ours can be one way to feel less alone. Although for the moment we can only meet safely in small groups outside, SCMSA continues to seek ways to address and improve physical and mental wellness virtually. I hope you will join us for our first Physical Wellness Zoom symposium and general membership meeting on October 8, one of four virtual events between now and January. The information for the first in the series is below. You are not alone. We will get through this together.
Barbara Darcey | President, SCMSA & SMAF