Day 19: Tuesday 3/31/20

I think I posted yesterday about pressures to do an unrealistic amount of things during this “Quarantine”. I may be repeating myself, but I read about “Productivity Porn” in an article from the Chronicle someone texted me:

Productivity Pressure

It was great to read this. As I described, I,like many others are reeling from and constantly inundated with overwhelming amounts of things to do: work to start with, then for enjoyment like live parties or webinars, Instagram events and participation things, free Ivy League classes, creative groups doing something I’m missing and will be more isolated due to them, plus the things to be doing creatively, like make new work and put it out there, look for online galleries or start one, . Then there are my own productivity pressures like, write your book proposal for altered books including this altered book you’re doing during Covid, start a YouTube channel for something, get back to the Art Box book and stop writing random diary items, take a self study wordpress class on fixing your website, fix your art website, check social media more, do your Pinterest, exercise, clean parts of the house every day, cook new things, eat healthily and go to bed earlier, daily yoga… and remember breakfast and lunch. It’s reaking havoc on my ADHD.

The list goes on forever. Then there are lists of things I need to do that I don’t even have time to do. I mean the regular stuff like food shopping, cleaning, etc. Plus I did get the email of a person to contact from this group I’m in called COVID Cares 2020. They posted an email of a medical worker so I volunteered and  I contacted them and haven’t heard back. I have heard from the referral source and havent had time to contact her. I assume all these volunteer support groups/therapy/checking for the most part will not be receiving a lot of frontline workers wanting support because they’re too busy and if they have time in between shifts they’re resting or doing family stuff or their own tasks.

Covid 19 Mental Health volunteering. I signed up to something else to volunteer free therapy for the front lines people. My prediction based on my knowledge elf trauma and PTSD is that I will not hear from anyone in need for a long time until things slow down a significant amount. This is the pattern. You offer help but someone in the middle of trying to fight a fire with a burning fire extinguisher does not have time or need therapy right now. They need sleep and food. What usually happens is the “after period” when things slow down and people are “back to usual”. Then it’s like people coming home from battle, which it actually is. This crucial time  is when there are PTSD symptoms showing up because people’s brains are wired to get into gear when there’s a lion about to attack and slow down when they’re safe and the lion is long gone. It happened with 9/11 and all the wartime caused by it. People started having time for PTSD groups and therapy when they had done all the emergency work and came back from battle to families, friends, etc. and symptoms set in.

That’s when you see people have flashbacks, hyper vigilance, depression and loneliness from now having to re enter life as usual, feeling nobody understands what you went through, etc. Saw it with 9/11 front line people feeling isolated even when with family members, not unlike the beginning of that Homeland show when the guy comes back and can’t re enter his family. That period is probably when the spike in suicides happen, so we as mental health workers, should be braced for that and wait out our volunteering for those momentss that will be quite dangerous and when there will be a big need for support groups, therapy, spiritual counseling etc.

The other people who will be vulnerable will be survivors, the ones who survived the Covid and lost people to it, whether they had the virus or died. I heard of a family where the grandmother and mother are likely to die and the other people starting to get sick. It will resemble wars where a person watches their family members die and is left with survivor’s guilt. I’m sure there will be other unforseen mental health/PTSD issues including a spike in addiction like behaviors and other unhealthy ways of coping people reach for when exhuasted and overwhelmed emotionally. We see it now with people sitting at home. Imagine you’re a medical professional who survived all this and how much more the idea of drinking, overeating, etc. is appealing and sometimes the only coping skill ones has.



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