WASHINGTON: Whether it is the inability to see friends and family. Or even see the facial expressions of a “neighbor” in the grocery store, the COVID-19 quarantine is taking a toll on America’s mental health. Particularly after nearly four years of Democrats assault on America via the Russia Hoax, the Mueller Report, the Kavanaugh hearings, and Impeachment.
Democrats tricks and tropes now continue with Nancy Pelosi holding up the help that millions of Americans are relying on to keep their families fed. If we can find food in the grocery store in the coming weeks. However, the non-stop partisan bickering of Pelosi, Schumer, and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, to name but a few, is more than a normal person can take.
Democrats, led by Pelosi holding up the relief programs by padding them with pork for their constituents, donors and themselves, has led to increased financial insecurity.
Democrats, however, are not the only ones benefiting from the stimulus programs. Though they are benefitting greatly. The CARES act includes $25 million to “support the House’s capability to telework,” including equipment purchases and improvements to the network.
Money is also available for reimbursing the staff of the House Child Care Center, covering the costs of food service contracts and paying the House sergeant-at-arms.
Meanwhile, the Senate is slated to get $10 million from the stimulus.
$1 million will go to the sergeant-at-arms to remain available for coronavirus response while $9 million will be reserved for “miscellaneous items,” including reimbursement for workers at the Senate Employee Child Care Center.
For those paying attention, why does the House members need $25 million to telework? Does Nancy, Maxine or Chuck not have a secure laptop already provided by taxpayers? You do know, most American’s working from home are paying for their computers and internet connections. And why does the Sergeant-at-Arms need $1 million? For what? To remain available during the shutdown? Isn’t that his/her job?
And inside the beltway might be wondering why American’s are not too happy. In fact, many of us are downright depressed. To quote Greg Gutfeld, “we cannot go on like this.”
The cost of Coronavirus to America’s mental health
Conservative Fox News contributor Dan Bongino recently tweeted about the suicide of a friend who lost his job as a result of COVID-19.
Just found out that a friend of mine I knew from the neighborhood hung himself after being let go from his job. But yes, you stupid bastards telling us all to “shut it all down or people will die,” keep lecturing us from your faux high-ground. Pardon my language but FUCK YOU.
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) April 21, 2020
We have not been in enforced quarantine long enough to have any serious studies to rely on, however just looking at ourselves, our friends and our families – both those in the real world and those we know online – gives us the anecdotal evidence necessary to conclude there will be repercussions.
Social media posts, some humorous, some deadly serious, reflect the isolation, and the effect of boredom, on many. One person I know has turned her isolation into productivity, making more than 350 masks for any group that needs them. Not everyone has her ability to stay calm and carry on. (Calls to local crisis line spike as extended quarantine taxes mental health). Many American’s are financially insecure – meaning that without their week-to-week paychecks, the savings have run out and the cupboards are bare.
For many, COVID-19 Depression is the anxiety of uncertainty.
The article in MedPageToday “Mental Health Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic: A Ripple or a Wave? — Coronavirus won’t be just a medical phenomenon” is pause worthy.
“As concerns over the perceived threat grows, stress, panic, sleep disturbances will be experienced, and a wide array of DSM-5 diagnoses will be swiftly applied. Likely among these conditions are generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, severe phobias, and PTSD. And, for some, the particularly neurologically vulnerable phenotype, the tension may trigger an acute adjustment disorder (AD), precipitating or worsening existing suicidality, i.e., thoughts and/or behavior. In others, as a consequence of quick and undifferentiated misdiagnosis, iatrogenic damage may escalate mortality rates.”
According to the CDC Stress and Coping page, stress during the outbreak can include:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Worsening of mental health conditions
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
At issue with these indicators for Stress and Coping is that our greatest stress relievers – the yoga class to the gym, the afternoon lunch to a relaxing spa appointment – are off-limits due to draconian quarantine rules.
And while we might agree that getting our hair done is not essential, for many the time spent in a spin class or lifting weights, is. Physical activity is essential for our physical and mental health.
Yet even being in a park, in many towns is now cause for police intervention. (New Tampa, Fla., resident Tom Brady thrown out of closed public park). Then there is uncertainty brought about by criminals being released from prisons and jails due to Coronavirus fears, while moms who take care of their children and families are being arrested and exposed. (Idaho mother arrested after she refused to leave a playground area closed because of coronavirus)
And someone, somewhere is wondering why some people are feeling depressed? Laws are not made by kingly edict in America, not even if that King is the Governor of Michigan. The President does not say “this is law,” he says this is a guideline. The Idaho mother, or even Tom Brady, should be able to participate in life as long as the guidelines, in these cases, social distancing, are kept.
And if you are not comfortable with that mother being in the park with her children, stay out of the park. Keep yourself at home. But I can assure you that Idaho mom is being very careful with her children’s health. That hands are washed as soon as they get home. That precautions are taken to protect her children and her home.
But there is nothing less healthy, physically, and mentally, for children than to be kept from play.
How we can cope with COVID-19 Depression
There is a lot of good advice out there. Unfortunately, it is the same good advice we have for everyday life – take care of your body, avoid drugs and alcohol, learn to breathe deeply while repeating mantras like “this too shall pass,” and ask for help. Seek kind people who will let you talk without belittling your feelings or experience.
In the article, COVID-19 and your mental health, the Mayo Clinic offers suggestions to take care of your body, your mind and how to safely connect with others. Some suggestions are:
For your body:
Relax and recharge. Set aside time for yourself. Even a few minutes of quiet time can be refreshing and help to quiet your mind and reduce anxiety. Many people benefit from practices such as deep breathing, tai chi, yoga or meditation. Soak in a bubble bath, listen to music, or read or listen to a book — whatever helps you relax. Select a technique that works for you and practice it regularly.
For your mind:
Keep your regular routine. Maintaining a regular schedule is important to your mental health. In addition to sticking to a regular bedtime routine, keep consistent times for meals, bathing and getting dressed, work or study schedules, and exercise. Also set aside time for activities you enjoy. This predictability can make you feel more in control.
Connect with others:
Do something for others. Find purpose in helping the people around you. For example, email, text or call to check on your friends, family members, and neighbors — especially those who are elderly. If you know someone who can’t get out, ask if there’s something needed, such as groceries or a prescription picked up, for instance. But be sure to follow CDC, WHO, and your government recommendations on social distancing and group meetings.
In this age of COVID-19, one of the best pieces of advice, and also the most dangerous, is to avoid the news.
If you choose to listen to the jackanapes at CNN, The New York Times and other liberal media, President Trump is the only person to blame for the China Flu, as though the fact that the COVID-19 coronavirus did originate in Wuhan, China is a conservative fallacy.
If you only listen or read conservative sites, it is time to reassert our Constitutional Rights. That as Americans we have a right to get back to work.
Turn on YouTubeTV and find fun videos you can dance to, sharing music from your youth with your youth.
The President’s Coronavirus Task Force Briefings
Are their very own cause for depression. Not because of the President, or the Vice President. Even Drs. Fauci and Birx are not out there causing America’s sinking into a depression. It is listening to the same reporters, day after day, attempting to catch the president with some inane, if not asinine question.
This example, from Liberal PBS mouthpiece Yamiche Alcindor is just one example on how the liberal media takes what should be a fact-finding and information sharing exercise and turns it into a moment of national depression.
— William Kedjanyi (@KeejayOV2) March 29, 2020
And as if Alcindor is not enough to cause us to rend our cloths, she is retweeted, her biased negativity spread over a larger cloth by MSNBC:
— William Kedjanyi (@KeejayOV2) March 29, 2020
Then the media’s negative narrative becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of gloom and doom, which may be why one of the first suggestions of mental health professionals is to avoid the news. As the President said in today’s briefing, in response to a reporter’s question about when the social distancing will end, it will require some common sense on behalf of all Americans. As well as on behalf of state and local leaders and journalists. And that might be quite impossible.
As impossible as getting real data out of the Chinese Communist Party.
Lead Image: Photo by Evelyn Chong from Pexels