It is easy to understand the hopes of the people and the world to slowly return to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed.
Who can deny that our lives were much simpler before the virus first surfaced? The tragedy and massive turmoil that followed in the months that put a strain on us all and afflicted many people and the economy. So it’s natural to wait for the end of the pandemic so that masks, physical distances, worries, and uncertainties can be placed behind us.
But as a mental health expert for decades, I don’t want to go back to pre-COVID normal. In my view, the world lacked consideration, support, and acceptance of issues that challenge people’s mental well-being. Its normal condition was when mental illness was pushed to health care and society as a whole. Go back there? No, thanks.
In 2017, the groundbreaking report “National Pain” was published by the Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust. A total of 127,500 deaths from suicide, alcohol and drug use were recorded in 2015. By 2025, that number is estimated to be 178,000-287,000. He coined the term “death of despair” to describe this epidemic and the tragic consequences of emotional pain, discontinuity, and lack of opportunity.
If that had happened before COVID-19, I would say when all this was done so that people suffering from substance abuse and depression wouldn’t feel death was a better alternative. It is advisable to go to a better place than in the recent past, the intolerable pain they are experiencing. Meanwhile, the epidemic continues to grow in the global health crisis we are fighting, and is getting worse every day.
Even before the virus spread around the world, the United Nations called mental health statistics around the world “harsh.” 265 million people suffering from depression, 76% to 85% of people in low- and middle-income countries with mental health status are treated, one mental health professional for every 10,000 people, and all of the world Human rights violations against people with severe mental health conditions that have spread throughout the country. This is another reason why you don’t want to go back.
Also, make it clear that in the United States, the poor and colored people are already burdened with the toxic stress and trauma of racism. Even before the virus was overthrown, they suffered from health inequalities. National protests about racial injustice exploding in cities across the United States have arisen from deep and systematic problems in our culture for centuries. It’s not the “ordinary” thing we should be proud of or aspire to.
Also, before the public hears the word “coronavirus,” think of the US healthcare system as separating physical and mental health. The separation was cultural and structural dating back to the Kennedy administration in the early 1960s. Efforts to connect these two care systems were sparse and were considered “state-of-the-art.” Perhaps that’s why people with mental health challenges have decades shorter lifespans than those who don’t.
However, today it is easy to see the relationship between the physical and psychological effects of COVID on humans, even in people who are not infected with the virus. Ask someone who is unemployed, isolated alone, or stressed to their limits as a result of a physical virus. After COVID, I hope we can find the right path to use a holistic approach to health that benefits everyone.
To me, how our country has built most of the fragmented healthcare system into an employer-based business model that pays for the specific services offered by healthcare providers. There is nothing nostalgic about. This system not only fails in unemployment strikes and when employers are unable to provide insurance to workers, but also rewards the amount of services provided, not the value of the health outcomes achieved. Therefore, hospitals and other providers needed to build lean operations that used all resources with maximum efficiency, but there was little room for extra beds, equipment, and staff.
In early 2020, PPEs, ventilation equipment, and the personnel needed to deal with the crisis competed for the state. In some places, other staff at the same hospital were dismissed or surrendered because non-COVID patients were avoiding care while the emergency department was flooded. I’m sure I don’t want to go back to a very fragile and incomplete healthcare financing model.
Finally, be aware that the federal government and many states have seen public health as a less important aspect of government and an easy goal of budget cuts. According to Ed Young on a recent issue in the United States, only 2.5% spend on public health services to prevent illness and prepare for the next pandemic, given the huge amount of money the United States spends on health care. .. Atlantic Monthly. Given what we have experienced with COVID-19, that “normal” doesn’t seem wise. He eloquently summarizes what this crisis may teach us: COVID-19 is an attack on the American body, and a referendum on ideas that invigorate its culture. Recovery is possible, but it requires a radical introspection. America would be wise to help reverse the ruin of nature. This process continues to divert animal diseases to the human body. It should strive to prevent illness, not to benefit from it. We need to build a healthcare system that emphasizes resilience over fragility and an information system that prioritizes light over heat. Trust in the League of Nations, social safety nets, and empiricism should be rebuilt. It should address the health inequality that flows from its history.
With introspection, it may also take courage. Let’s hope that what lies ahead after the collapse of COVID-19 is a country that has really found a far better path to normality.
(Phil Wyzik is the CEO of Monadnock Family Services in Keene.)