Cross-posted from Penn LDI’s Health Policy$ense
Robin Ortiz, MD and Laura Sinko, PhD
As the country looks to reopen and epidemiologists anticipate future waves of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, we must address an equally important “pandemic:” the virus’ far-reaching mental health and trauma-related consequences. Whether balancing activities of essential work with exposure risk, bearing witness to suffering or loss, or feeling anguish or guilt for not “doing more” during this time, our society is facing great adversity with potentially devastating consequences.
Moreover, the trauma of COVID-19 does not stand alone. It layers on top of the trauma and grief of watching the death of George Floyd and remembering Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others. It layers on top of the intergenerational trauma of racism rooted in slavery, mass incarceration, police brutality, and Black oppression.