I had the luxury of enjoying an in-person book club last week with my fabulous group of ladies. We were discussing Where the Crawdads Sing, a wonderful read - one of the best I’ve read in a long time. After discussing the book, we chatted about life, return to school, politics, and joked about our “Covid babies” (the 10lbs we may have put on working from home and stress eating from home-schooling our children). It ain’t easy being a pandemic parent. Want to experience the excitement of it? Try the painfully realistic “parenting in a pandemic simulator” (https://www.almostfavorite.com/pips).
Jokes aside, the health of Canadians - of humanity if you’ll indulge my grandiosity here - has taken a hit from CoVID. Not due to the virus, but due to related health conditions as a result of Covid’s impact on society. For example, every day a patient will tell me or our nurse how their sugars are high “because of CoVID.” There’s a lot of: “well I haven’t been eating as well,” “I’ve been indulging more,” “I’ve been drinking more,” and “I can’t go to the gym because it’s closed.” Some have taken the time to get fit nonetheless, and others have opted to let go. The changes in lifestyle over the past months will have an impact on overall health, the physical but also the mental wellbeing.
In fact, studies released this past week show that women have been hit hard by the mental health effects of the pandemic...and it’s only going to get worse. A study by Deloitte notes that two-thirds of the jobs lost were held by women. Many who kept their jobs were frontline workers, which comes with a different bag of worries. All of this on top of the stress of debating who stays home with the kids, who oversees home-schooling, or who manages caregiving of older family members. The data to date suggests that women have carried the weight of these demands on their shoulders and it comes with an increase in depression. A depression that will ripple with years of after effects.
Monitor the psychosocial needs of your family and friends as we continue to navigate this CoVID storm. We aren’t on the same boat. Watch out for those that belong to the more vulnerable groups: youth (18-24), isolated seniors, single parents, those with pre-existing health conditions, and those ladies in your life.
The CoVID crisis will end, but the public health crisis will resound for years. When we had the last depression, there was a generation born out of it, baby boomers: will there be a similar generation born out of this one? The second coming of the boomer