AGW A word I keep seeing is
“magnified.” We know COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting people of color – and that is in part because of historic disparities. For example, these communities already experience implicit bias in health care. Add to that things like paywalls in news media creating a lack of access to information, or reduced testing sites in less affluent areas; I can’t help but wonder what was lost in those first days and weeks. JB I serve a diverse group, but many
of my clients are women of color. This pandemic has exacerbated existing stressors, especially for those who don’t have the luxury of working from home. Cooking is a big deal – I used to have more conversations around making healthy choices at restaurants. Now, those conversations start with, “How can I take care of myself at home?” This has been especially hard on those who live alone or those who use transit, or otherwise don’t have access or funds for healthy foods. NS There are definitely a lot of
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Dr. Taineisha Bolden, Dr. C. Nicole Swiner, Dr. Ashly Gaskin-Wasson and Jasmine Burroughs.
challenges. I am glad, though, that some of these things are being brought to light. That is the first step toward change. How has COVID-19 impacted mental/full body health? What advice are you giving to your clients/patients to help?
What problems has the coronavirus brought to the forefront in terms of our health care system? TB For me, it can be hard to answer patient questions right now,
because information we are receiving as medical professionals has been inconsistent. That, and the double masking [the wearing of two masks at once because medical-grade masks aren’t always available] has been challenging. MM Factors affecting COVID-19 outcomes include whether someone
has a medical home/primary care provider, who has access to testing sites (due to insurance status, location, transportation and internet access), which jobs offer protections such as working from home, paid sick leave, and if they have to work on-site.
Getting used to a new normal is difficult. There are people who don’t have all the resources they need, and that can cause stress and have a large impact on mental health. MM
Even for my clients who did not have mental health issues prior to the pandemic, they have been experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety for the first time. TB
NS We’re all still figuring it out. I recommend finding activities that
are relaxing – gardening has been a great option for many, and cooking at home. For me, I’m talking with all of my friends in the mental health field frequently, staying active and keeping my kids busy. They’re currently enrolled in online dance and gym camps – but even that is a august 2020
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