The Psychological Impact Of The COVID-19 Pandemic | WYPR

The Psychological Impact Of The COVID-19 Pandemic

Jul 20, 2020

Sgt. Russel Donivan, a Maryland National Guard member, places bread into grocery care packages to be distributed to local community members.
Credit Senior Airman Sarah M. McClanahan/The National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons

The COVID-19 pandemic may not be a hurricane, a terrorist attack or a war, but it is a disaster. As a disaster psychologist Dr. George Everly has spent four decades responding to the mental-health needs of victims of calamities around the world.

One of his conclusions is that the psychological casualties of a disaster--people so badly hurt mentally or emotionally that they can’t do what they need to do in life--always outnumber the physical casualties. What should we be doing now to address the pandemic’s psychological cost?

Dr. Everly has written more than 20 books including, The Johns Hopkins Guide to Psychological First Aid, and, with Dr. Douglas Strouse, and Dennis McCormack, Stronger: Develop the Resilience You Need to Succeed.

His blog in Psychology Today is “When Disaster Strikes: Inside Disaster Psychology.” In this commentary for the the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, which he co-founded, Dr. Everly describes steps in moving past the pandemic.