We’re in This Together: Mental Health Challenges & Resources in the Time of COVID-19
I’m not going to lie: adjusting to the pace of life under the shelter-in-place restrictions has been tough for me. You don’t enter politics unless you truly like being around people a lot. It’s a huge — and difficult — change for me to spend all day everyday alone. I’m used to a very busy schedule where I am in meetings with constituents or speaking at events or on the Senate floor for nine or ten hours each day. I usually commute back and forth to Sacramento from San Francisco, and spend a lot of time in both my Capitol and District Offices. It’s been an adjustment, to say the least.
And though it’s been tough on me, I’m privileged to have stable employment, housing, and health insurance in this tumultuous time. Far too many of the people I represent aren’t so fortunate. Far too many people in my community have lost jobs, are unsure if they’ll be able to make rent or pay the mortgage, and are unable to afford enough food for their family.
Add to that the concern we all have about our own health and the health of the people we love, and it’s a lot. On top of it all, if a parent or grandparent gets sick or dies, we may not even be able to go care for them, and there may not even be a traditional funeral. The stress caused by isolation, combined with uncertainty about the future and fear for our families, can be crushing.
It’s a challenging time on every level. I want to talk about the impacts the Coronavirus emergency is having on mental health in our community, and what resources are out there for folks who might be struggling.
I saw this article in Axios about the coronavirus outbreak’s toll on our mental and emotional health and found it upsetting but unsurprising. We are dealing with a lot right now: the social and physical toll of isolation and staying inside, financial and job stress, sick friends or family, and of course anxiety about getting or being sick. Not to mention, it’s hard not to feel down about the state of global affairs right now. It’s a tough time for everyone, and it’s hard not to spend all day worrying.