Not all serious injuries are visible to the eye, as anyone who has experienced a catastrophic illness or injury attests. And we are now learning a lot about the hidden costs – mental, emotional, social and spiritual – that the coronavirus pandemic is causing.
Journalists Emily Baumgartner and Ross Mitchell of the Los Angeles Times offer interesting perspectives on what is now normal but widely deviant behavior in the age of Covid. They did so, researching the causes of the unacceptable increase in road fatalities at a time when the public, in general, had fewer cars, and many people had opened up on side roads. The fatal losses that occurred in 2020, were expected to be reversed, but they did not reverse in 2021.
The sources told the newspaper, which reported:
Experts say the behavior on the road is likely a reflection of pervasive feelings of isolation, loneliness and depression. “We might decide: What is the importance of a seat belt or other beer, anyway, when we’re in the middle of a pandemic?” said Shannon Frataroli, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The rise in car deaths is consistent with other epidemic-era trends: Alcohol sales are up, drug overdoses are setting new records, and homicides have seen their biggest increase ever. Frank Farley, a professor of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, who regards reckless driving as a form of rebellion — or what he calls “a breakout of vigilance…You’re locked up, locked up, and have limitations that bother you.” ‘So, if you can get an escape from the excitement, you’ll want to take it.’
Reporters have found that there are more lights flashing to warn people about the disturbing behavioral shifts that began with the pandemic, are now continuing, and may be taking root:
“The death tolls rose in both cities and rural areas. They rose on both highways and back roads. They rose during the night and day and weekdays and weekends. They rose in every age group between 16 and 65. They rose in 41 states—where I witnessed South Dakota, Vermont, Arkansas and Rhode Island have the largest increases.However, some patterns have emerged.The most important of which is that the black death rate rose more than three times faster than the death rate overall, a disparity that could reflect a deeper sense of hopelessness in the poorer communities hardest hit by the pandemic.He wondered. Frataroli asked whether it was related to the disproportionate number of black people in the core workforce, including delivery drivers who are “paid by how fast you can go.” In one of the clearest indications of growing recklessness, fatal accidents involving disproportionately on only one vehicle. The data also shows a significant increase in fatal accidents involving speeding, illegal substances or failure to wear a seat belt.”
The road safety expert also provided important insight to the newspaper as to why — even with employment picking up, people with money in their pockets, and public health measures advancing the nation along the path to recovery from the pandemic — the world may still feel just uncomfortable. Sure but brutal:
Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Assn., a Washington nonprofit that represents agencies nationwide, has suggested that people’s disregard for themselves and others on the road is part of the national decline in civility that has accelerated during the pandemic. It’s from governors’ offices across the country that this is a symptom and a sign of the public disinterest we show other citizens, whether that’s wearing masks, not being vaccinated, or how we drive,” he said. ‘She is very aggressive. She is very selfish. “
Acting out of control and out of control, as well as engaging in (self-destructive) behavior, is already common and frightening: Vivek Murthy, as a general surgeon as one of the country’s top medical officials, grabbed recent headlines when he released a 53-page report He publicly warned that, as the New York Times reported, “young people are facing ‘devastating’ mental health effects as a result of the challenges of their generation, including the coronavirus pandemic.” The newspaper also noted this:
The report noted significant increases in self-reports of depression and anxiety and emergency room visits for mental health challenges. In the United States, emergency room visits for suicide attempts were up 51% for teenage girls in early 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. The number was up 4% for boys. The report indicated that symptoms of anxiety and depression have doubled globally during the epidemic. But mental health problems were already on the rise in the United States, where emergency room visits for depression, anxiety, and related problems increased 28% between 2011 and 2015.”
While Murthy and other experts focused on the big problems with young people and their mental well-being, others pointed out that women, parents, essential workers, teachers, health workers and many others have experienced an emotional and spiritual pandemic, as well as mental health crises.
However, at this time of greatest need, mental health providers themselves are dealing with the crisis of overload. They were overworked and often undervalued before the pandemic, and they can’t handle the huge demands now.
not good. In my practice, I see the harm patients suffer as they seek medical services, the harm that can be caused to them through wrecks of cars, trucks, and motorcycles, and their struggles and costs to access safe, effective, and excellent health care, including mental health support. This has become an ordeal due to the increasing complexity, uncertainty, and cost of treatment and prescribed medications, many of which have turned out to be dangerous drugs.
As people now struggle to figure out what to do in a pandemic that has lasted longer than many might expect – and as coronavirus variables further complicate an already stressful situation – we may all need to breathe deeply. We need to step back from the holiday madness that many people may have launched themselves into, with plans to give gifts, travel, party and think fast.
The world, by taking things step by step and following the recommendations of real experienced medical experts and evidence-based consultations, has not fallen apart. We may be dissatisfied with continued wrinkling in our lives, including higher prices for goods, perhaps, lower.
But the end of this year is a unique opportunity for all of us to reflect on the deeper meaning of a season of what many great religions tell us is rooted in gratitude, giving, compassion and consideration for others, especially those in need. We may not be flying to far corners of the planet by the end of 2021. This fancy electronic gadget or whistling might not be at home until next year. However, many of us have a lot to celebrate – we and our loved ones are alive and well. Most of us have jobs again.
A pandemic can teach us the importance of appreciating family, friends, and the activities we love. We don’t need excess intoxicants (wine, grass, or pills), obscene behavior, or extravagant spending to tell us we’re here – and hopefully be prepared for the best of what’s to come. Perhaps it would be faster and better if we were more patient, calm, considerate of others (particularly to those in need), optimistic, kept close to home and cherish those we love. If you feel you need help, especially mental health care, don’t vacation. Connect, including with family, friends, and others you trust. We can have great health holidays and a great New Year – we may need to work our way up to these great goals.