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With progress in efforts for COVID-19 vaccines and predictions for when the population will receive them, there seems to be a light at the end of the long, harrowing pandemic tunnel.
As the physical risks are better managed with vaccines, however, what will likely still remain is the indelible impact of the pandemic weighing on thecollectivepsyche.
"The physical aspects of the pandemic are really visible," said Lisa Carlson, the immediate past president of the American Public Health Association and an executive administrator at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. "We have supply shortages and economic stress, fear of illness, all of our disrupted routines, but there's a real grief in all of that."
"We don't have a vaccine for our mental health like we do for our physical health," Carlson added. "So, it will take longer to come out of those challenges."
Based on the mental struggles endured by so many this year, these are the issues mental health professionals anticipate coming to the fore in 2021.
Life was stressful before the pandemic, but new challenges have contributed an additional toll. Virtual homeschooling, staying safe, financial hardships, teleworking, keeping up with new information, and coping with sickness and death can make life feel like a never-ending game of Whac-a-Mole.