Pandemic Response

June 1, 2020

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Anchor lead: As the pandemic rages on, mental health issues may become more prevalent, Elizabeth Tracey reports

What does research tell us on how people respond to crises and how can that help us now during the Covid-19 pandemic? Eric Strain, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, says there are typical phases in people’s crisis response.

Strain: There’s this phase where people are acting in a heroic way and then there’s like a honeymoon phase, then there’s this steep decline with demoralization and disillusionment. I think we’re coming to the end of the heroic phase when we’re starting to see culturally people starting to react against this, to the shutdown, but my concern is what happens with demoralization and disillusionment? We all were running on adrenaline for weeks there. That’s not sustainable. So I think we need to figure out how do we care for each other, for the broader community?  :33

Strain says awareness that many of us are feeling the same way can help us all respond with empathy and patience. He urges people who are feeling despondent to seek help. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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