Description: Ask people how they are seeing the world around them these days as they deal with or do not deal so well with the social, isolation imposed due to the coronavirus and most will say something like weird, surreal, strange, or odd. These perspectives arise for the large extent to which usually or typical (assumed) social practices and conventions have been stopped cold. What to do? Well, wouldn’t it be great if there was a manual describing what are going through and going to be going through in the near to immediate future? Ah but that’s part of what is surreal… there is no manual. Well actually there might just be something that come pretty close. Steven Taylor is a clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia ad his new book The Psychology of Pandemics was released in December of 2019. Now you will have to order the book if you want to read it but in the meantime the link below will take you to a newspaper article he wrote that was published in the Guardian.
Source: For the generation shaped by coronavirus, life may never fully return to ‘normal,’ Steven Taylor, opinion: Coronavirus Outbreak, The Guardian.
Date: April 7, 2020
Article Link: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/07/life-never-return-normal-coronavirus-shape-generation
So, who knew that a playbook for the Psychology of Pandemics would be available? Most troubling are the numbers Taylor lays out regarding the rates of PTSD we can expect and the possibility that many people will continue to isolate long after the all clear. The possible impacts on the Psychological profiles and tendencies in the general population of the coronavirus pandemic going forward that Taylor lays out are also sobering. We cannot rush back to normal as some protestors are demanding not just because we need to be health conscious but because ‘normal’ may not be what we remember when we get there.
Questions for Discussion:
- What are some of the ways that pandemics impact mental health, wellbeing and mental illness?
- What are some of the ways that our community experiences will be different p-psychologically speaking after the coronavirus threat recedes?
- What are some of the policy and practice areas where we might benefit from thinking a bit about the over-time Psychology of this pandemic (and others)?
References (Read Further):
Taylor, Steven (2019) The Psychology of Pandemics, Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Link
Galatzer-Levy, I. R., Huang, S. H., & Bonanno, G. A. (2018). Trajectories of resilience and dysfunction following potential trauma: A review and statistical evaluation. Clinical Psychology Review, 63, 41-55. Link
Lenferink, L. I., Nickerson, A., de Keijser, J., Smid, G. E., & Boelen, P. A. (2020). Trajectories of grief, depression, and posttraumatic stress in disaster‐bereaved people. Depression and anxiety, 37(1), 35-44. Link
Bartone, P. T., Krueger, G. P., & Bartone, J. V. (2018). Individual differences in adaptability to isolated, confined, and extreme environments. Aerospace medicine and human performance, 89(6), 536-546. Link