COVID Effect On Sun Valley Mental Health
Jose Mier is not going crazy but is noticing some subtle and not-so-subtle changes in Sun Valley residents.
We’re well into month number three of our imposed confinement here in Sun Valley (and the rest of the state). We’ve had time to sort of get used to doing things a different way: wearing masks, keeping six feet apart, washing our hands for twenty seconds, coughing into our elbow, etc.
It’s become routine now and I wonder if these practices will continue after the coronavirus has subsided. We’ll see. But confinement and loss of work are having other effects on us too. In fact several sources have posted articles and videos on the growing danger of increased mental health problems during the COVID shutdown. Stress and anxiety levels are growing, made even greater by new extended shutdown orders and no end in sight. How do we handle this anxiety? For some with preexisting mental health conditions it could be devastating.
But it’s not just the “regular” mental health concerns I am talking about today. As I run my officially-sanctioned errands in Sun Valley, I have noticed a change in my fellow residents that is troubling.
Jose Mier on the New Coldness
On any grocery trip I’ve noticed a new coldness in people. We are less likely to look at one another and keep our gazes to ourselves. We act as if the others around us are not there and we don’t even say hi to one another. If we’re walking on the street and see someone approaching we cross the street or at least create a wide path around the others. We are physically and emotionally isolating ourselves. It’s hard to tell with everyone wearing masks but it seems like we do not smile anymore. We get our products. Stand in line. Check out and go home.
Will we ever return to the old levels of courtesy? Will this be a permanent situation? Will we continue in some ways to always be wary of others? Until when? These are questions that I ask myself and don’t have the answer to, unfortunately, and the longer our quarantine goes on, the worse it will be and the longer lasting the effects.
Sun Valley is a microcosm for the rest of the world and if it’s accurate I certainly don’t like it. A I for one am going to do my part and smile and say hi. We have to remember we’re all in the same boat. Let’s not lose our humanity as a result of this devastating virus.