The directly traumatizing effects of the Covid-19 plague emerge with each passing day of sickness and death. Poverty, famine in too many places, war, the effects of the global climate disaster such as unbearable heat and drought, these all increase the vast dimensions of worldwide suffering.
Adding to this are the effects of quarantine, social isolation and fear. In the US, our leadership has failed to protect its population and instead has increased the scope of contagion, unconcerned for our well-being and only cultivating its own selfishness. Many of us have become activists and with an aroused recognition of racism in its continuous murderousness and oppression have come together to create a new culture based on justice, equality, and genuine community.
Depression, anxiety, economic stress, loss, bereavement and uncertainty are increasing rapidly and often exacerbate unresolved trauma and insecurity. With the plague, crowding, lack of access to the outside and usual pursuits cause a rise in domestic violence, substance abuse and suicide. We have long had recognition that many of us exist in unhealthy patterns of isolation —too much time on screens, eating unhealthy, not moving our bodies, not being outside in nature, and the overuse of social media instead of real human connection. This has been exacerbated.
We are social animals meant to be hugged and making eye contact to co-regulate and mutually soothe one another. The virus feeds on social distress and injustice and will be with us accordingly.
Racism and sexism feed on hatred that obscures our human connectedness and creates a delusion that one group is benefitted by the other groups oppression when all groups suffer uncertainty, exploitation, insecurity and are symptomatic in their various ways.
Fundamental human rights include equal access to security, health care, adequate nourishment, to water and shelter, to the commons and so many more rights that are absent for so many. Almost all humans thrive when love, safety and sharing are the fundamentals. Only some humans are truly devoted solely to their own illusion of self as everything.