Chapter 4: Factors that impact grief

Introduction

“We're in the midst of an onslaught of COVID cases with no end in sight. We're holding our breath and praying that we can respond with the care we usually provide.” – Attending physician, long term care

The ways that we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic closely echo the ways that we respond to a major personal loss or illness. Many of the emotions and thoughts that we experience in grief are also expressed in our response to this global crisis. 

People working in long term care facilities, group, or community settings are especially exposed to the impacts of COVID-19 on patients, residents, and co-workers. They are likely to experience higher numbers of illness, death, and losses because of the increased vulnerability of patients in these settings.  

This chapter will explore how some of these residential and small community settings can impact healthcare provider grief during the pandemic.