9/11 and Kovid-19: two major trauma incidents with different recovery challenges

Calling a radiology department at her doctor’s order to get an emergency angiogram in May, she screamed when the receptionist said she could not schedule the procedure until she tested negative for Kovid.

“I broke down in tears and pleaded,” I don’t deserve to die at home just because you don’t have protocol, “said a marketing consultant and business book writer from Columbus, Wisconsin.” I’ve never given up . ”

People will not go to his house. “I’m 170 days out of contracting Kovid and people still treat me the same way as I do plague,” said Colbert, who is still curing the effects of the virus. “Since March, only my mother, my friend Sarah and a repairman have come inside my house.”

The coronavirus epidemic may be the most significant mass trauma event of the decade, and is drawing parallels with another significant trauma – the 11 September 2001, attack. The events of 9/11 have much to teach us about the impact of trauma.

Does trauma affect us in the same way, regardless of its source? Will our recovery journey be the same? What causes some trauma to human trauma while other trauma destroys it?

What 9/11 Can Teach Us About Current Challenges

Large-scale trauma can create a prolonged state of “chronic threat response” – a constant state of being in hyper-agitated survival mode. About 20% of people at the World Trade Center Health Registry reported new symptoms of traumatic stress disorder five to six years after 9/11.
Trauma effects can last for many years, even decades. A sample of fifteen years, 36,897, exposed rescue / recovery workers and community members in the WTC Health Registry, 14.2% of rescue personnel and 15.3% of community members reported post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.
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Jonathan Morris, 62, at the time was a US Army Staff Sergeant, a non-displaced officer in charge of the emergency department at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, during 9/11. He lost two allies in the Pentagon’s attacks – Army Lieutenant General Timothy Maud and Army Lieutenant Colonel Karen Wagner, who were killed at work on their first day at the Pentagon.

“It’s been almost 20 years and I still think about the friends and coworkers I have lost every day,” Morris said.

The impact of trauma often increases and flows over time, and help is not always there when needed. One-quarter of those suffering from PTSD or depression reported the need for mental health care in the preceding year.

Morris is taking a proactive approach. “Since this time of the year is particularly difficult for all of us, I am reaching out to others and doing a ‘friend check’ on people who were affected like I was from 9/11. I commit suicide and Don’t wanna lose more friends. ”

People lose friends after being exposed to trauma

The period after traumatic loss is painful, heavy and boring. In the wake of a tragedy, many survivors discover that family and friends are not as supportive as they expected – or not helpful at all.

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Sometimes people are fine, and sometimes they are not: Trauma creates ambiguity that can make recovery challenging.

“People want to tie things in a neat bow – ‘Are you sick or are you not sick?” “Can I send you the card, or can I remove you from my prayer list now?” Explains who is in your tribe after a trauma, and this clarity can bring additional grief. If you contract Kovid, your most enduring challenge may be loneliness.

Kate Colbert is featured before the Kovid-19 and subsequent conflicts.

Recovery course for 2 trauma events can be very different

It can be harder to do nothing than to do something really hard. With both 9/11 and the London bombings, “carrying” was a form of healthy defiance. During the London bombings, morale was highest in some of the worst-affected parts of London.

Post-traumatic growth: With support, some traumas can help us grow.

Conversely, Kovid silently and ruthlessly divides and wins, sowing helplessness, mutual mistrust and fearful fear. Prolonged social isolation can be as dangerous as the virus for some Americans.

And PTSD is likely to have widespread, lasting effects as we come out of Covid like it is for some of those affected by those 9/11 attacks. Not everyone can “climb” Kovid or make a scary escape from the Twin Towers.

And while people were not afraid that they could “catch” 9/11, the fear of contagion is a unique challenge for those contracting COGID-19. Reactions to her illness remind Colbert of the personal blame and social rejection that was inflicted on people contracting HIV and AIDS during the HIV / AIDS epidemic.

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Some trauma can prevent us from realizing that we are part of a deeper isolation of the human community, where our faith in the well-being of others is deeply damaged. As Colbert said, “These days, I can’t say friend to the enemy. Kind people feel sorry for me, fearful people are cruel and indifferent people have forgotten about me. But I still am and I am right now I am also here, and I am not well.

How can we cope?

Even if your family has been fortunate enough to have endured the brutal effects of the novel coronavirus, whether it is related to your health, your finances or work, know that we take action in response to the threat Are wired. There are ways we can cope with unknown times.

1. Identify three things you can do and take action. Moving forward with purpose on our values ​​is how we find meaning in the midst of chaos. Identifying three things we can take action without endangering others – and working on these things – can help us bring back our fighting spirit.

2. Instead of focusing on “social disturbances”, “let’s” connect remotely. Take some time to think about your personal pit crew – the people in your inner circle whom you deeply trust. Keep a reminder in your phone to contact one of these special people each day on a rotating basis. Deliberate about joining with our tribe provides an anchor during a perfect storm of tension.

3. Advances in trauma treatment are reasons for new hope. There are a variety of promising new treatment options that target both biological and psychological symptoms of trauma. For example, stellate ganglion block is an injection that helps calm the overactive fight-or-flight system, and ketamine infusion is another emerging treatment option. (SGB is offered by the Stella Center in Oakbrook, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, at no personal cost to those enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program.)

Traumatic stress is not followed by a life sentence, so ask for help and don’t give up.