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Psychological Trauma Is the Next Crisis for Coronavirus Health Workers

Cities face 100 million ‘new poor’ in post-pandemic world: experts

bout 100 million people living in cities worldwide will likely fall into poverty due to the coronavirus pandemic, urban experts said on Wednesday, calling for mapping tools to identify vulnerable communities and investment focusing on slum areas.

Densely populated cities are poised at the frontline of the contagious outbreak, hard hit where people live in poverty with little or no running water, sewage systems or health care access, said experts at the World Bank, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and other urban-study groups.

“Within cities we need to focus on those who need help the most, the poor and the vulnerable have been very seriously affected,” said Sameh Wahba, global director for the World Bank’s urban, disaster risk management, resilience and land global practice…

 

Psychological Trauma Is the Next Crisis for Coronavirus Health Workers

covid imagte

As the pandemic upends much of society, frontline health care workers are shouldering the burden of a systemic lack of preparation. Image credit: Richard Borge

After his roughest days in a New York City emergency room, physician Matthew Bai feels his whole body relax when he sees his wife and 17-month-old daughter. “My light at the end of the tunnel is going home to family,” Bai says. When Manhattan’s Mount Sinai Hospital started to overflow with COVID-19 patients in late March, however, Bai and his wife decided she should take their toddler and stay with her parents in New Jersey. The risk of spreading the virus to his family was too great. Now Bai confronts a daily cascade of patients who are struggling to breathe, in an ER busier than he has ever witnessed it. On his mind, always, is whether he will be able to keep his staff safe. All doctors have bad shifts, but now those days repeat, piling up. At night, virtual story time with his daughter is nowhere as soothing as the real thing. “I honestly have no idea how I feel,” Bai says. “I go to work, and at the end of the day, I go to sleep. I have no time to digest any of this.”

Medicine is a stressful profession under normal circumstances. The physical demands, psychological strain and ineffective work processes can lead to burnout, a condition that affects up to 50 percent of physicians in the U.S., says Colin West, an internist who has studied physician well-being at the Mayo Clinic for more than 15 years…

 

 

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