Throughout 2020 and 2021, we have navigated countless changes and losses related to the spread of COVID-19. We have postponed celebrations, mourned for loved ones, felt the loss of time and resources, and endured countless other difficulties and trials. More recently, we have begun to see how we as individuals, families, and communities navigate these changes and find our “new normal” as we slowly return to work, school, and congregating together, all while maintaining “social distance.” We have taken on more than we could imagine in this last year and the physical, mental, and emotional effects of COVID-19 are lasting beyond what we could expect.
Beyond these changes, the uncertainty and unpredictability that comes along with a global pandemic can be a main contributor to what makes this year feel traumatic. Trauma can be felt in a wide variety of situations and can be defined as an event that overwhelms the central nervous system, shifting the way we process memories and recall them. Trauma can be felt in an even more severe and debilitating way when we lack predictability and feel a lack of control, regardless of the event. COVID-19 is considered a “collective” trauma: an event or series of events that affect a large number of people within a shared span of time. In addition to this collective trauma, we may experience our traumas as well. Though there are more types of trauma than those listed, we can manage these in a variety of ways and support one another in doing so.
Each of these steps is vital in the lasting effects COVID-19 has had on us as a community this year. Talk with your therapist or counselor on how to engage in each of these steps and more or contact Summit Counseling to get connected to a counselor or therapist today.
“Trauma is not the story of something that happened back then. It’s the current imprint of that pain, horror, and fear living inside people.” – Bessel van der Kolk, Author of “The Body Keeps the Score”