Tuesday, May 5, 2020

How Are You?

For those of us who communicate via text or messenger, “How are you?” is a common greeting.  (Some people go shorthand: “how r u” but I am a stickler for proper spelling.)  Even before Covid-19, it was a standard salutation, not requiring a reply that went beyond “Good and you.”

In the era of what the commercials and pundits call “these uncertain times,” the query takes on more meaning, and it goes beyond asking about physical health.  The lock-down, social distancing, lost jobs, lives on hold, mounting death tolls, crumbling infrastructure, and an administration in the White House that is thrashing around like a drowning rat has taken a toll on our mental state as well.  Boredom, fear, grief, and uncertainty can overwhelm us, and the aftershocks will be felt for a long time after.

Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. A federal emergency hotline for people in emotional distress registered a more than 1,000 percent increase in April compared with the same time last year. Roughly 20,000 people texted that hotline, run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, last month.

Online therapy company Talkspace reported a 65 percent jump in clients since mid-February. Text messages and transcribed therapy sessions collected anonymously by the company show coronavirus-related anxiety dominating patients’ concerns.

So, my question this morning is simple: How are you?  What are you doing to cope?

One bark on “How Are You?

  1. There’s nothing wrong with starting happy hour at 9 a.m., is there? I mean, you can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning.
    I’m kidding, but I was pretty much forced out of my full-time job last year; I’ve replaced it with several part-time variable jobs and help partner with his business some, but still having trouble filling the time. Our temperatures have been running 10 to 15 degrees (or more) below normal so it’s hard to be outside; laundry is caught up, house is as clean as it needs to be given the number of pets we have, and I often don’t know what to do with myself. It’s funny because pre-Covid we rarely went out except for bowling league and grocery shopping, but having to stay home feels different.

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