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social, health, political imagery through the lens of G J Huba PhD © 2012-2021

Posts from the Healthcare Category

During the past covid “pandemic” year (March 2020 through May 2021), have you woken  up every day feeling “lost” or “confused” or “depressed” or “anxious” or ” numb” or like something is “wrong” or “inescapable” or with any of hundreds of more negative feelings?

It is my guess that virtually no one has escaped these feelings during the global fight against covid-19 A lot of the feelings originating from situations occurring during the covid pandemic are visible to everyone. News outlets inform us daily that cases of suicide and violence and most major mental illness and drug abuse and murders are at very high levels compared to historical norms. We can often recognize these major interruptions to “normal life” and hopefully many professional services to combat major stress-induced illnesses and condition can be offered.

We probably — as a global community — have a “fighting chance” of protecting and or preventing the outbreaks of mental illness and stress  breakdowns among many because we recognize these conditions as medical ones that are then referred to qualified physicians or social workers or psychologists to handle.

More insidious and of great longevity are issues like continuous rage or feeling numb and defenseless or apathetic or unable too motivate yourself too walk out the door and deal with issues in the larger real world that you could avoid when hiding inside from covid. Your friends and family might see many of these huge, chronic problems are not rising to a level of concern to be considered a medical condition. Most physicians will also have a lot of difficulty in deciding whether it is appropriate to treat these “reconnection” as medical conditions and with pharmaceuticals they will need to repurpose for conditions are less defined and more chronic than many of the psychiatric-psychological problems they traditionally saw.

Diagnostic categories and conditions are going to have to be significantly revised when Americans start to engage with the old reality or refuse to even try to do so.

What is the United States and all of our sister countries in the global community going to be facing? The mind map below starts to summarize what we are all going to be facing as we restart countries in a year or two when vaccines are provided to all.

Click on the mind map to expand it.

XMIND is a mind map app available for all major notebook computers and all major smartphones. You can use the app with the defaults and get good results after a few hours and very good results after a day. There is a free trial period.

I consider this app to be the #1 choice for beginners and intermediate users. Most users of mind maps will find it does a great job and have no need to move up to the two more advanced apps available for expert users.

I also find that XMIND by default produces mind maps that communicate very well with other mind map users.

You can click on the mind map if you want to expand it.

Let me start off saying that there is no official COVID Pandemic Syndrome in either the psychological or psychiatric literature that I and google are aware of.

There is a paper on “COVID Stress Syndrome” that I found while doing a google search after I was starting to upload this post to the Internet. The closely named paper that can be accessed HERE is a different conception than mine but of equal interest and equal importance as my comments.

The general approach I am taking is that the COVID pandemic has elicited a number of psychological reactions (different in inclusion, importance, and intensity for specific individuals) for most.

In other words, my approach is to point out that exposure to the pandemic over a period of a year or more has resulted in many people experiencing the psychological states, symptoms, and conditions shown in the mind map below. From my observation, many of us have and continue to experience these states probably because of extreme exposure over a long period of time to the conditions of the pandemic. As we know from decades of competent scientific research by tens of thousands of well-trained and smart mental health professionals on grief, anxiety, depression, anger and the other states in my diagram, these problems for most will not go away without some types of psychological intervention for most people. Depending upon the psychological problems an individual is experiencing, proven pharmaceutical-medical and/or behavioral-cognitive interventions are available they will need customized mental health services.

It would be very naive to assume that we need to vaccinate the entire world to finally control the spread of the novel coronavirus without also providing psychological-psychiatric services to those who do and will need them. If such services are not offered at minimal (or no) cost globally, hundreds of millions of people may suffer with depression and anxiety and alcoholism and drug abuse and domestic violence and deeply felt anger for the rest of their lives.

Let’s not forget about the COVID Pandemic Syndrome that is happening to most of us to varying degrees. If we don’t solve the psychological problems caused by the pandemic now, many will not fully recover. Mental health and medical interventions should be available to everyone living through the pandemic or its sequelae if we want the global population to recover and not expose the unborn babies and children of our future to these horrible psychological conditions.

Click on the diagram to expand it.

 

In a follow-up post I am going to provide links to a number of relevant and technically sound studies and speculations on the psychological consequences of the coronavirus.

We need a plan and resources, NOW.

Starting on June 1, US schools should be allocated money from the federal government to provide remedial in-class and online summer classes and counseling services at their school or online. The funds allocated should be for student educational services and not for general school overhead such as building improvement or teachers and resources that are not integrally to these special programs. Services should be provided for 24 months from the time that a school district starts special programs.

Our most important resource — our future generations — should receive full educations and not be penalized because a natural disaster occured during their school years.

Students from communities that have traditionally been underserved either intentionally or inadvertently should have priority to participate in the earliest programs. As possible the same programs should be rolled out to all public school districts.

Click the image to expand it.

 

We are incredibly fortunate to have Tony Fauci in charge of scientific efforts to control and eradicate and inform the public about covid-19.

Clip on the image to increase their size

One of the reasons that the USA has had 568,560 people die from covid-19 is that STOOPID politicians posture in front of the television cameras and say incredibly dumb things and frequently misquote data. Of they pick the “experts” they want to listen to by their politics rather than their expertise.. In a democracy like our, you have to let every idiot elected official say what they want to. BUT YOU DO NOT NEED TO BELIEVE IDIOT POLITICIANS. DO BELIEVE CREDIBLE AND HIGHLY SKILLED HEALTH SCIENTISTS LIKE DR. FAUCI.

For entertainment value and to see what Dr. Fauci and other reputable scientists have to deal with from about half of the US Congress and about 40 percent of the US population, all you need to is watch the news or look on YouTube.

 

 

 

As we recover from the COVID pandemic, it is important to recognize that much of the world population has been under severe stress from the pressure of dealing with deaths of loved ones, uncertainty, financial pressures, anxiety, depression, and fear.

The symptoms of psychological crisis in the past 15 months are not going away without professional help.

The following show some of the ways that help needs to be offered. If even 10% of the global population has been affected by psychological stress, we have huge issues to address.

Click the mind map to expand its size.

 

For the first 9 months of the covid pandemic, I used to consult one of the covid information websites about cumulative deaths at least hourly. I looked at about a half dozen of these sites to see how their models of future deaths diverged from one another. I understand how most of the math models work, whether the data used is of “excellent” or “bad” quality, and how to present the results so that they were accessible to most people.

Now I do the statistics exercises every couple of days. The numbers sometimes numb you so that you loose sight of the fact that every person counted is a soul who had a family and friends, worked often for the common good, loved many of the people they knew, had a great laugh in happy times, and in most cases went out of their way to help others out.

We need to honor and remember all of those who died from covid. Most were good people who were quite simply the victims of a virus that our scientists learned to control and our politicians ignored. Probably at least two-thirds of those who died would not have done so if our politicians had done their jobs and protected their constituents in ways public health and medical scientists recommended.

Rest In Peace. May those of us who survived covid always remember to honor those who did not by applying the knowledge we have gained about how to manage a pandemic in the future.

A comprehensive continuum of care is needed to provide services needed for many, if not all, infected by COVID-19 and their families. Not everyone will need all of the services shown in the mind map but many will require a large subset of these in addition to medical care. Case managers help link patients to both the medical and the social care they need to combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a loss of income, stress on their families, child care for families with children, and many other services provided by most counties in the United State or through non-profit integrated care facilities, or charitable groups with many communications. The case manager will also follow up with all of the agencies helping the client (patient) to ensure they all have the same information and are communicating with one another in an integrated way.

The pattern of the overall service needs of individuals who become (or became) infected with COVID-19 is very complicated. This group probably requires continued medical monitoring for continuing or new symptoms of COVID, psychological counseling, they may need to be in a support group to help them deal with the trauma of treatment or having friends and family die, they may need help in dealing with basic needs (food, shelter-rent, childcare, and many other things). They might also require help getting a job or requesting unemployment or child care or healthcare payments from government and (former) employer services.

What would case management system look like when applied to helping those needing COVID-related help. Take a look at the figure above.

The next tweet deals with setting up an appropriate service system.

March 18, 2021. I published the blog entry below exactly one year ago (March 18, 2020) as the pandemic was just starting to be acknowledged in the USA. There are days I hate to be correct in my predictions. This is one.

It is very clear that in the United States, some of the money in the large Biden Covid Recovery bill must be spent trying to cut the pandemic-driven and all other domestic violence that has spread without check over the past year. The same psychological conditions that drive domestic violence also drive the racial hate that is out of control in the USA and the escalating hatred between Trumpists and other Americans. Just as the coronavirus is an escalating problem so are pandemics of domestic violence, psychological distress and disease, and hate. If the elected national officials of all political parties can rein in their dogmatism and hatred and promotion of social unrest, that could also help.


Isolating someone in their home with another person is a possible recipe for domestic violence. Keep them there for weeks-months, add in the use of alcohol and/or psychoactive drugs and the likelihood of domestic violence increases. Add in a possible gun and the violence can easily become fatal.

And during the coronavirus pandemic, police intervention will be less available to end an out-of-control episode.

There appears to be no real alternative to sheltering large numbers of the public in place during a viral pandemic. The long and intense frustrations of being sheltered in place do not mix well with alcohol, psychoactive drugs, and guns. During a viral pandemic, you can die from more things than just the virus.

Click on the image to expand it.

February 4, 2021

Trump is preparing for his second impeachment trial and still denying Biden is president. Biden is doing an excellent job fixing the huge mistakes Trump’s policies and incompetencies caused.

Help has started. Biden has had to spend the first weeks of his presidency fixing up all of the major problems Trump’s political views and incompetence created for his successor. Within the next two weeks a funding bill for Biden’s new policies and fixes to Trump’s disastrous mistakes will be passed.

Know that the immediate changes President Biden is making to the American response to covid-19 is stronger and much more scientifically correct than the 2020 response of President Trump. You and your surviving fellow citizens have a much better chance to avoid coronavirus and if you contract it, to survive the disease. You are finally hearing the truth from your president (Biden) instead of the lies from his predecessor.

Wear a mask. Socially distance. Don’t touch your face. Wash your hands.

Get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.

COVID is not a political issue. It is a question of how many die. Do what it takes to save your friends, family, all others, and yourself.

2020 was one heck of a year. I documented my year in terms of themes and have shared them as blog posts with mind maps on this site.

Looking back, I should have also documented parts of the year as a visual diary.

I have started to look through my huge collection of Field Notes Books and my mind maps and my blog post and even tweets I sent out to recreate the year.

You will see the whole story later in this blog.

Here is a mind map of the kind of data I am collating from my personal observations over the course of 2020.

 

January 20, 2021

Trump fled the capitol today.

Help is on the way. Biden came to the capitol and the first thing he did was to hold our first national memorial service for our 400,000 fallen friends, family members, acquaintances, and fellow Americans.

Rest in peace knowing that the immediate changes President Biden is making to the American response to covid-19 is stronger and much more scientifically correct than the 2020 response of President Trump. Your surviving fellow citizens have a much better chance to avoid coronavirus,

Roughly 12 million Americans have been given the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine that requires a second dose in 3 weeks (one producer) or a second dose in 4 weeks (one product).

According to the US DHHS, when a person gets a first dose, a second dose is stored for use in inoculating that individual for the second time 3 (or 4) weeks later . Trump’s band of idiots have been saying that for many months.

Today the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services revealed that they were not saving any vaccine for second doses.

After all, they only lost 12 million doses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donald Trump and his followers have cost the United States good relationships with our international friends and allies, the welfare of the citizens of the United States and the world, help to people from war zones and areas of natural disasters, and the consequences of our global population facing a pandemic spread around the world by the denial of Trump that the covid-19 virus exists.

The failures have occurred at a time when our friends and enemies are coping well with these problems.

This week, Trump incited a riot when he tried to take over the democratically elected government by force.

The United States has been a big loser in the war between the fascist government envisioned by Trump and our history of democracy.

Click the image to expand it.

How much do you think Trump is going to charge his various associates for a pardon? How much will he charge Putin for American state secrets and plans for our superweapons?

Trump has clearly set himself up for a post-Presidency business selling the secrets and property of the United States to the highest bidder. Or those to whom he owes the most dollars, rubles, pounds, euros, yen, yuans, or bitcoin.

Here is what I predict might be his business plan. Or that of Rudy.

Click the image to expand it.

 

 

The total number of covid-19 deaths in the USA is growing rapidly.

For the first time, I have personally experienced the devastation of having a family member die from covid-19. 

Why is our death count rising so rapidly compared to the rest of the world?

The answer is very simple. Donald Trump and his cadre of sycophants are the biggest group of idiots and bigots ever tasked to run our national efforts in a catastrophe. Every task they needed to complete was totally botched. Really. 

Now that the physicians and virologists and Big Pharma have put together effective vaccines we need to get the vaccine into the arms of our fellow citizens. People are nervous about the fact that the super-fast development of a vaccine may have been possible by not taking the same care as has been provided in the past. They fear possible side effects and wonder if researchers have fully studied and discovered all of the potential problems. Horrible mistakes from the past were made when white scientists used black populations as their test subjects, often giving people dangerous drugs without any information about problems or any informed consent protections. Some don’t think that the information they provide during the vaccination process will be stored on computers by doctors or health organizations or the government for future research.

Behavioral scientists can easily notice issues like the one I discussed in this tweet on 12/18/2020.

The bottom line is that physicians and nurses spend decades in training and clinical residencies about how to treat patients once they come in the door to the hospital, clinic, or office. Their excellence is second to none.

The second bottom line is that both behavioral research and clinical behavioral workers spend decades in training and supervised experience in getting people to evaluate and trust medical professionals, treatments, and aftercare, and then come through the door at the hospital, clinic, or office. Their excellence is second to none.

The US national covid response committee formed by President-elect Biden is comprised of physicians and a few epidemiologists with public health degrees (and without medical degrees). In general, this group is inexperienced in reassuring patients and getting them to accept treatments that appear scary.

To develop the best possible covid response we need to include behavioral scientists (psychologists, social workers, public health facilitators, community organizations, counselors, and many others) on the advisory panels and in the implementation of the covid response. Someone afraid to walk through the door or not. convinced that a vaccine works is not coming in for an injection.

The issues and a possible plan for implementation are summarized below. Click the mind map to expand it.


or the same map in an alternate color scheme.
 
 

 

The response to the pandemic was botched in just about every way imaginable by the national, state and territory, and government agencies.

If there was a way to make things worse one or the other political party espoused it.

Covid was turned political as was mask-wearing and social distancing.

Half of America wanted to sit inside isolating themselves and working at home why still earning their salaries. Once in a while, they would come out to protest the lack of civil rights and related issues. They would wear masks and preach to non-mask wearers. And then go order online meals from restaurants and goods from Amazon. Having kids at home rather than in school or daycare became a major hassle because parents were trying hard to work at home. When distressed they could talk on video chats with their friends and families on their i-devices with fast Internet connections.

The other half wanted to go to restaurants, go to bars, go to grandmother’s house, and go to work, too. Many were unemployed and given insufficient emergency unemployment benefits and they wanted jobs not just for money but also for the social support from their work friends and the sense of belonging and self-worth a job provides. Many could not afford food and rent. On top of all of these stressors, it seemed hopeless because their major sources of emotional support were their family and friends and isolation meant they could not get necessary advice, counseling, and assistance from families and friends and those invaluable hugs from their family members. They had to deal with all of the issues associated with being poor (many for the first time) in the world’s richest country.

They fought over who would lead the country, whether those in-need should be represented by politicians from one of the two groups, who had access to what, whether taxes should pay for sufficient amounts of different types of services for those in need, and just about everything else.

The outcome of fighting and feeling bad and being angry and having to wait in food lines and having to provide homeschooling to their kids and worrying about their retirement and facing eviction and being unable to talk intimately with friends and family face-to-face clobbered the American people in both groups. In response they clobbered each other.

The outcome was inevitable.

 

Every little bit of time wearing masks will help you and me and our neighbors. Every little bit of aid to pay for food and housing and security will help you and me and our neighbors. Excusing medical expenses (through government payment) will help you and me and our neighbors. And the list goes and on. For each and every service there are direct and indirect ways that the service will help you and me and our neighbors.

We need to get our act together as a nation and as individuals. There is not a lot of time left. And if you think that vaccines are going to save us from our disorganization and hopelessness and hostility and stubborn behavior, you are deluding yourself. Full vaccine coverage will not come about until the beginning of 2022 or later and may never if a substantial percentage of Americans refuse to accept vaccination.

We are failing ourselves and our neighbors.

Time is running out. But we can still help you and me and our neighbors and maybe the rest of the world.

Let’s try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the next 20 years, the world will experience significant change. After the shock of the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences, everyone alive knows that significant changes must be made in the next 20 years to our governments, distribution of services and wealth and opportunities. We must integrate all global development with a restoration of the global environment as it was before the industrial revolution.

It’s a hard job. The change itself will provide numerous opportunities. The creative destruction of what is wrong and the creative building of what is right will be fun to observe and participate in. Hope will spring out as we get a lot of the things right that we screwed up the first time.

Here’s what we gotta do. It’s possible. It will be fun and rewarding to fix.

Click on the mind map to expand the start of a plan and an emerging roadmap.

This is what we have to achieve this time. The inclusion of all. The distribution of services to all. A high-quality of life for all.