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The Psychological Impact Of The COVID-19 Pandemic

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.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.