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Therese Raphael

Covid Is Traumatizing Our Doctors and Nurses

Only by acknowledging Covid's huge hit to our mental health — and by supporting each other — can we truly rebound from this pandemic.

Intensive care is intense pressure.

Intensive care is intense pressure.

Photographer: Neil Hall/EPA/Bloomberg

Hand it to human beings. We have repeatedly defied predictions that we will buckle under the extreme pressure of adverse events. Time and again, whether it was during the eight-month blitz in World War II, or after 9/11, people have proved remarkably resilient in the face of adversity.

Will it be the same with this pandemic? On aggregate, probably yes. Most people have experienced, or know someone who has experienced, mental stress as a result of pandemic-related circumstances. (Irritation, anxiety, helplessness, tiredness, sadness, burnout, trouble sleeping or difficulty concentrating — any of these sound familiar?) But once vaccinated and our lives are unlocked, most people will probably return to their individual baseline levels of happiness, even if there are new post-pandemic adjustments to be made.