Chapter 1: The impact of COVID-19
“When I get home, I am afraid of passing COVID-19 to my family and friends. I now sleep in the spare bedroom. I have never been through anything like this before. It feels surreal.” - Personal support worker
The pandemic has raised a great deal of uncertainty in both our personal and professional lives.
What you might be thinking
You may find yourself consumed by questions for which there are no answers.
Click on the arrows below to view some common questions or thoughts people are having during the pandemic.
Will I/ my loved ones contract COVID-19?
Will things ever be the same?
My life and work feel so out of control.
How bad will this get?
How is this going to affect our healthcare system? My job?
How do I reconcile what I see as good care and still uphold public health guidelines?
I need protection too - do people understand that?
What you might be feeling
Given the uncertainty of this time, it is natural to experience a range of new or intensified emotions.
Click the arrows below to view some of the feelings you may be experiencing.
Fear…for your own safety, the safety of the people you work with, the people you provide care to, your family and friends.
Anxiety/Worry/Stress…about the decisions you must make, the future, and your risk of exposure.
Guilt…about decisions you have made and/or that you cannot do more.
Frustration/Anger/Irritability…about the ways your work and life routines are disrupted, and about making accommodations and adjustments, sometimes on a daily basis.
Powerlessness, Hopelessness, Helplessness…because you feel unable to do anything that makes this better for you, your patients, their families, your loved ones and colleagues.
Uncertainty…about the loss of your usual routines and activities, access to social connection, support, and the future.
Moral Distress...regarding the limitations of care you are able to provide and feeling the difference between doing the 'right thing' according to your values and the 'right thing' according to the rules.
How it may be impacting your life
Click the arrows below to reveal ways COVID-19 may impact your behaviour.
Difficulty maintaining usual sleep, exercise, and/or work routines.
Loss of interest in previously rewarding/enjoyable activities.
Refusing invitations for social connection.
Problematic changes in food, alcohol, or other substance use.
Avoidance/denial of objects, places, people that remind us of our loss or the pandemic.
Fixating on the events around the pandemic.
Rejecting sources of positive feelings, thoughts, or measures of comfort or reassurance.
Irritability (noticing that we are more easily frustrated or less tolerant).
Difficulties with concentration and following through on tasks.