I could hear my kids whine for snacks and TV shows, but I was missing the mental step that connected the sound to me, a person who could do something about it. I stayed in my spot on the couch for over an hour, as if in a fugue state. All of my mental energy was focused on only one thing: ruminating on a hurtful conversation I’d had with a relative the day before.
Peter Murphy, a 35-year-old software developer based in St. Paul, Minn., never really thought about leaving the company he’s worked at for nearly a decade. But when a recruiter contacted him on LinkedIn with a higher-paying job at a startup, he was intrigued.
“I figured it wouldn’t hurt to practice interviewing and to see what else is out there,” he says.
January 2020 was 31-year-old event planner Donesha Benson’s biggest month yet.
Her Minneapolis-based business, The Party Girl, raked in $14,000 in revenue, and she was on track for a busy spring. Between April and June, every weekend was booked with corporate gatherings, graduation parties, weddings, and other celebrations.Then Benson’s bread and butter—gathering people—became a public health risk due to COVID-19, and it tanked her projections.
As COVID-19 continues to ransack the country, so does stress. Juggling their own responsibilities and well-being amid 24/7 care taking and social isolation, many adults are subject to new mental health strains. According to a recent survey by the Kaiser Foundation, more than half of American adults say worry or stress related to the coronavirus has affected their lives.
Travis Fields and his wife, Niki, were visiting family in Hawaii when Colorado governor Jared Polis ordered all restaurants to stop dine-in services. So they had to figure out a way to keep their business open from 3,000 miles away. The couple owns FH Beerworks, a brewery and taproom that sits on five acres of land outside of Colorado Springs, Colo., and employs a team of 12 brewers, bartenders, and salespeople.
Almost every week, 46-year-old Nina Strommen, a Minneapolis-based nurse, got a massage to manage muscle spasms and pain caused by fibromyalgia. But that was before the pandemic. While some medical care has been able to pivot to telehealth, many patients haven’t received the hands-on treatments they rely on for conditions like chronic pain, headaches, or injuries.
Kristine and Drew Coffman moved from Florida to Redding, Calif. with a vision: Open up a beautiful little boutique hotel—the kind that people drool over on the Travel Channel—with a coffee shop or restaurant on the first floor.
Since George Floyd’s death on May 25, people around the country are gathering to protest against police brutality. Law enforcement officials in many cities have attempted to break up crowds of protesters using riot control agents like tear gas.
A global pandemic is stressful enough, but with public health concerns keeping millions confined (separately and together), mental health experts say these are especially vulnerable times for couples. “The issues couples are experiencing aren’t all that different from other times,” says Winifred Reilly, a marriage and family therapist in California. “The problem is, nobody has any space from each other.”
As protesters gather around the country to support the Black Lives Matter movement and respond to a long history of police brutality against Black people in the United States, law enforcement officers are using crowd control weapons like pepper spray and tear gas, risking the health of both protesters and bystanders.
Lately, my social media feed has been full of surprises: a childhood friend, one I’d long considered a kindred spirit, sharing a pandemic conspiracy theory on Facebook. A mom I used to regularly run into at the playground, posting photos of her mask-free dinner party.
Think back to your last in-person doctor’s appointment and how it began. Probably, someone checked your blood pressure, temperature and weight, all of which give your doctor a snapshot of your overall health. While in-person visits are starting to come back, many patients are still getting care virtually, and may be for a while.
A few weeks before shelter-in-place orders began, my family and I sat at our favorite restaurant weighing the pros and cons of taking a long-planned trip to Phoenix. After a brutal Minnesota winter, we needed some Vitamin D. Our kids would be disappointed if we bailed. Plus, we’d spent a good amount of money on flights, which we might not get back.
Have you recently dodged a person sneezing at the store by instinct or automatically taken a few steps back when you pass someone without a mask on? These behaviors could be part of an adaptive response evolutionary psychologists call the “behavioral immune system.”
When my son boarded the school bus for the first time, bounding up the steps with a huge, goofy grin on his face, I felt something I hadn’t expected. It wasn’t joy. It wasn’t sadness. It was the unmistakable sensation of pent-up energy draining from my body.