“The Tripledemic” —Week of 11/27/22

Every week I will be reviewing a reputable news article and engaging with it from a mental health professional standpoint. These will be short posts following a three segment model: 1. The News=short synopsis of article 2. The View= My initial impression of the article, and the news impact in the mental health world 3. The Reflection= Useful ways to engage with this information/applications to caring for our mental health. These posts will be published 8am on Mondays!

The News: You may have heard about the “tripledemic” (Covid, flu, and RSV). Here is what you need to know: Since the pandemic there has been less seasonality with flu and RSV (and other typically seasonal illnesses). We were hit early with these viruses this year after pandemic public health precautions had been terminated. Children and immune compromised adults are most at risk for requiring hospitalizations with these infections, and many hospitals are reporting high numbers of cases, including patients coming in with multiple infections. Here are the referenced articles.

The View: Many people concerned about community health, risk to self and others, and parents have been feeling a lot more fatigue and anxiety with navigating what is already a stressful time of year with illnesses. I’ve seen a lot more burnout and weariness in this regard in my practice, especially, with many of the young parents I work with. I’m definitely feeling it too. While we might feel more connected to community in some ways with less restrictions, it has felt like a relentless slog of coughs, sneezes, and symptoms to be worried about. Ultimately, posing issue to connection (in addition to health).

The Reflection: Hit the brakes and breathe. So many of us are probably feeling on overdrive with the “normal pace” to schools, colleges, work, and life. I’ve been seeing more strain in coparenting and relationships, and more stress with managing work and family responsibilities. Give yourselves grace.. and see this shared desire in my recent tweet. Trying to measure ourselves in any of our roles is going to be quite distorted. We haven’t been through this before.

Additionally, it’s been more of a quadrupidemic with how many times I have been hearing about the local schools going on lockdown for risk assessments and mass shootings. Just in Virginia we have had two recent well publicized mass shootings. One at UVA…see my open letter to the community here. We also had the more recent Walmart shooting earlier last week. Suffice it to say, there is nothing I would want to consider normal about our community environments. The more focus we can put in on prioritizing the safety of ourselves and our neighbors, the better we can weather these pandemics and hopefully create some necessary change. Be kind to you and the shared spaces we occupy.

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