The impact of COVID-19 has lasted almost half a year already. 2020 as gotten increasingly difficult and even though we're close to what seems to be a recovery from the virus, the physical and financial impact of it will last longer.
But it isn't just our economy and our health that is suffering. We are also subjected to the emotional impact of COVID-19.
The loss of lives, the fear of the virus and the claustrophobia from being indoors is bound to leave an impact. Especially affecting those who suffer from anxiety, depression or other mental health issues. And those who have been on the front lines. However, there is a term for this, collective trauma.
A collective trauma is a traumatic psychological effect shared by a group of people. A recollection of a terrible event that happened to a group of people.
Similar to post-traumatic stress, the emotional recovery from a pandemic will leave us with fear, depression and heightened moments of emotional tension.
The levels of post-traumatic stress that we are going to find as a direct consequence of this moment will far exceed many other moments in history. There will be increased levels of depression, anxiety disorders, heightened moments of panic, escalated emotional tensions and conflict.
- Garth Stevens, president of the Psychological Society of South Africa
However, there is a different way to look at this situation. While we may still be left reeling with the after-effects of the pandemic, it will also unite us. The hope, the fighting spirit and working towards a better tomorrow will keep us going.