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'This is a pandemic of trauma. Everybody is feeling the pain.'

Original post made on Jul 22, 2020

As COVID-19 cases surge in California, some of the state's leading mental health professionals warned of long-lasting psychological fallout that will require enormous investment to help Californians who are suffering.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 12:14 PM

Comments (17)

14 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2020 at 9:14 pm

If this lockdown continues, an increase in mental health issues is an understatement. We're all at risk. Open California before it's too late.

16 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2020 at 10:40 pm

At last these things are being said publicly. Many of us have been silenced by suggesting that there will be problems and that there have already been problems. Anecdotally from those who work in the field, this has been said. Now there is something more concrete and that has to be a good thing.

Covid concerns are one thing. Mental health concerns are likely to become more and more concerning the longer the lockdown continues.

16 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 22, 2020 at 11:30 pm

Let's be very clear. The mental health crisis here is the *direct* result of panicky overkill lockdown policies, not of the virus itself.

2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2020 at 9:22 am

Loneliness and lack of interaction with others can lead to secondary problems during this lockdown.

It is wrong that we are not allowed to form bubble groups as in other countries. At least parents are now working together to form pods for schooling.

Imagine a singleton child in a 3 generation family who has not been allowed to meet with any other children for 4 months with fears that they might come home with the virus to give to granny! That child will be suffering in ways we can't imagine and have no idea how it will affect them for their future wellbeing.

9 people like this
Posted by Get Over It
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 23, 2020 at 12:15 pm

Everyone is enduring the hardships of the Covid-19 pandemic...economically, socially and perhaps even psychologically.

As a former pilot/POW, all I can advise is grow some 'you know what's and get over it.

The weaklings always break down and/or blame others while the more resilient individuals find a way to survive.

No psychologist is going to help you because a good % of them have problems that they themselves cannot deal with and so it becomes a matter of the blind leading the blind.

So take control of your life and deal with the one ever said life was going to be easy.

12 people like this
Posted by long-term strategy needed
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 23, 2020 at 1:47 pm

As the parent of 2 young adults (one in HS, one in college) I understand how difficult it is for especially young folks who crave social interactions to put their lives on hold for an undefined period of time. However, as a scientist, I also understand that by opening up the state too early, and having an uncoordinated state (and national) response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have prolonged the pandemic, as well as the emotional toll it is taking. Ultimately we will need to step back from much-desired reopening plans and institute a national (or, at least, CA) SIP policy to get viral spread under control.

5 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2020 at 2:26 am

What has made America powerful has been our relentless, sometime ugly and criminal attention to the bottom line - and maximum profit at any cost. This pandemic has opened the door to the room where he stashed and repressed everything we have lost - and it is about putting people first.

It is among our worst sins, now that we know better, to continue having whole classes of people who are dehumanized and exploited to feed and protect those whose elevated status has in fact made them oblivious and uncaring.

I hope this is seriously understood and reversed, and if it is not I hope protests go on and on until it is so we do not forget this moment and go back to a status quo that has put our country in a place where something like this can bring us to our knees.

3 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2020 at 2:31 am

Get Over It
>> As a former pilot/POW, all I can advise is grow some 'you know what's and get over it.

Thank you for your service, but I am sorry to say but you may have forgotten what it was you were serving for my friend. "Grow a pair" is never, never a serious or realistic answer for anything except some frivolous humor in a TV show or movie. I'm sorry you had to go through that.

8 people like this
Posted by Tired citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2020 at 7:11 am

“ Imagine a singleton child in a 3 generation family who has not been allowed to meet with any other children for 4 months with fears that they might come home with the virus to give to granny! That child will be suffering in ways we can't imagine”

Or, maybe the kid had a chance to get to know granny for the first time instead of being a ship that passes in the night because of an endless stream of mindless, pointless homework and school that treats family time at best like it’s nothing or bad for kids.

Maybe reconnecting with family or having an excuse to play with dad or just sit and read books for a few months without being pulled in ten directions at once will be an up side. During school, many local students often connect with their friends online only anyway. Geez, this attitude is like we’re living in caves rather than in a warm climate where it’s possible to meet outside with masks, we have all kinds of communications that didn’t even exist 20 years ago, and the Internet that brings knowledge and goods directly to us.

I’ve been reading about this, and globally, calls to hotlines may be up but suicide rates are down all over, in some places, dramatically down. In Japan, this has been suggested to be partly due to reduced stress of not having to deal with dense-City commuting, and getting to stay home with family. Rates are down across California, too. There are enough prior studies of pollution effects in suicide that at least there will be opportunities to understand the problem better if we don’t make assumptions to suit political expediencies.

There was a major news story in the Bay Area that rates had gone up, that was later found to be unsubstantiated by any data, a politically motivated statement that conflicted with actual facts.

I’m not saying we don’t need to support people’s mental health or that the economic factors aren’t important. I’m not even saying that lockdowns aren’t hard in people or that I favor them — a coordinated response that included testing and let people rotate into public every two weeks and reserve shopping dining etc, could have gotten things in check without lockdowns or the tanking of our economy at all months ago. But we have such divisiveness originating from the right that has to constantly find ways to stir up anger and blame, blame blame, this couldn’t happen.

But the economics were already hard for a lot of Californians when the taxes of millions of middle class Californians went up dramatically overnight because of the 2017 tax changes. I’ve heard lots of distress about that and absolutely no one cares about that. Millions of people in the hardest hit Covid areas nationally were affected and when it was just about middle and lower class people being suddenly crushingly financially squeezed by federal taxes that went to the wealthiest, who cares about that stress, right?

Failing to understand this means we will fail to bring the lessons forward as we get back to “normal.”

We’ve had a toxic and chaotic/dangerously inept national government that like the eye of Sauron turns it’s gaze to throw the lives of this group and that group of ordinary people into turmoil, and has treated the most populous state/major contributor to federal coffers like a foreign enemy while hardly bothering to visit. It’s simply not trustworthy or congruous that they would ever be concerned about anyone’s mental health or wellbeing.

People in blue states, frankly, were already a sustained stress from within our own nation. This is just more of the same. If people on the right were so concerned about lockdowns they wouldn’t have made masks (and everything else) into such political issues and we would be opening up like other nations all over the world and recovering by now. Do you think any of them understands now the cost of relentless dishonesty or are they just pointing fingers and blaming blaming angry blaming?...

3 people like this
Posted by Get Over It
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 25, 2020 at 8:07 am

@Crescent Park Anon...
>>Thank you for your service, but I am sorry to say but you may have forgotten what it was you were serving for my friend.

∆ Thank you for your acknowledgement.

In retrospect, I have not forgotten nor will ever forget 'what it was I was serving for'...
a wrongful intervention of a foreign land to protect & preserve a corrupt & inept foreign government. In Vietnam,
the past war is referred to as the 'American War' and rightfully so.

Today we are also living under conditions of captivity and in order to survive, we must adjust to and make the best of adverse conditions.

There are no conveniently manipulated 'sign-offs' for the weaklings & cowards.

The scars will always remain but one must essentially get over it or he/she will eventually sink into an abyss of self-pity and/or self-destruction.

Depression and restlessness over being sequestered by the Covid-19 epidemic is quite trivial compared to other more tragic events in life (i.e. terrorist bombings, random murders, Alzheimer's, succumbing to cancer etc.).

So yes...those who cannot handle the current scenario are WEAK.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2020 at 8:40 am

Tired Citizen.

You seem to be talking to me, so I will respond. Yes, there is time to spend together with family, that is a plus. However a singleton child who spends 99.9% time with adults and not with peers will lose socialization skills that come from mixing in a roughly age grouping similar to their own. All homeschool children prior to SIP still meet with other homeschool families for things that cannot be done isolated from other children. Any parent of a child with serious health issues, in and out of hospital, etc. will tell you that one of their concerns on a day to day basis is the socialization of the child to mix with other children. In fact even in the large childrens hospitals, the children mix with each other as much as possible just to give them the socialization that is necessary for their mental wellbeing.

You make a lot of assertions about suicides being down and yet you provide no link to support it. In fact, you even say that one well published report has been revoked, but yet no link.

If nothing else, a child without socialization being kept away from their normal interaction with close friends is if nothing else going to be miserable. Chatting to Granny is nice and playing with Dad is nice, but I feel absolutely sure that the child will still miss friends and face to face friendships, particularly if from social media and zoom they hear that all their friends are meeting together at the park for socially distanced activities and they are left out.

Think back to when you were a child or teen and remember how important your friends were. Chatting on the phone was only worth doing if you had something to chat about and moaning about your parents was probably a group activity!

2 people like this
Posted by Tired citizen
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2020 at 9:57 am

It took seconds to find multiple articles:

Web Link
SLO and Shasta counties have seen a dramatic DROP in suicides. SLO is interesting because it otherwise has a relative high rate for CA.

Web Link
Colorado Suicides dropped while calls to crisis lines spiked (a pattern I'm reading in many locales, I think including SCC)

"Across Cleveland Clinic emergency rooms, mental health visits were down 28% in the month after the stay-at-home order took effect, compared to the same month a year ago. The difference was even greater for visits related to suicidal thoughts -- which dropped 60%."

"Japan suicides decline as Covid-19 lockdown causes shift in stress factors
April’s 20% drop compared with a year earlier may be the result of delays to start of school year, less commuting and more time with family"
Web Link

The close of schools eliminates the opportunity for school active shooter injuries or fatalities, which have been a growing problem also contributing to childhood stress.

Other factors like illness and absenteeism also go hand in hand with depression and stress in youth and those are down, too
According to
"Asthma accounts for 9.8 million doctor's office visits, 188,968 discharges from hospital inpatient care and 1.8 million emergency department visits each year. Asthma is the third-ranking cause of hospitalization among children younger than 15." Nearly half of all asthma hospitalizations are for children, according to AsthmaMD, which has many facts. Asthma hospitalizations tend to be much lower in summer months when kids are home/not in school, despite increased activity levels.

The fake claim of increase was in Walnut Creek.

I'm not in any way disputing that students need time with peers, but I disagree that what they get in school is necessarily healthy. As has been pointed out on school threads, humans didn't evolve kept inside all day with collectives of exact same-age peers, they evolved doing things in the real world with adults (and probably family units) to become competent at life. The kids in school typically have difficulty socializing even with kids a grade above and below. They learn to see themselves as distant from adults. In many ways, the school setup infantilizes students. They get socialized to their exact age group rather than across the spectrum of ages. No wonder our society has such an unhealthy way with senior citizens.

A child in a hospital situation is completely different, having to deal with lots of people who make them feel bad all day long, deprived of most positive interactions with humans. Of course they need to be helped to have social time.

You're talking about a few months of a pandemic like it's a lifetime in a cage. Should we prevent families taking their kids on long travel around the world because they'll be two months away from being sequestered in a box with exactly the same age group? While some people maintain childhood relationships, the majority here will move on to college and make new friends, and most will lose touch. But their families will be there to support them emotionally the rest of their lives. Our district puts really unhealthy pressure on families as if it's necessary to get an education -- this is an opportunity to change that.

I have a great childhood, but we moved a few times which usually meant I had no time with other kids for months each time, and I spent most of my 3rd & 4th grade in one of those open classroom situations with the din of over 100 kids in a single space. We had recess in sweltering heat crowded on a blacktop with no equipment, so it was just avoid the bullies until it was time to go inside again. I spent most of my spare time reading great literature, which made up for the abysmal education from school. I can't think of any play time I had with other kids then, except my siblings, and we were growing different interests. Yet I still had lots of friends and was considered a leader in high school.

Recent research shows that kids who move in childhood are more successful as adults, probably because they have to learn to adapt. Our own Julie Lythcott Haimes quotes research that children who grow up doing chores are more successful as adults -- how many of our kids could use the few months just learning how to live their lives and do normal things at home, like make themselves a healthy lunch which they don't have time for at school?

Again, students in our schools spend most of their social time ONLINE anyway before the pandemic! Helping them improve their friendships by connecting online, learning how to reach out in order to get time together (masked outdoors), and talk on the phone even, are all friendships skills that will help them later in life.

The quality of a lot of social interaction at school is extremely low. There is absolutely nothing about a few months of things being different that has to be bad.

2 people like this
Posted by Get Over It
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 25, 2020 at 10:21 am

>>"The fake claim of increase was in Walnut Creek."

^ Walnut Creek (along with Danville) are two bastions of narrow-minded, predominantly white (90%), conservative white Republicanism.

It's no wonder that that are also the bastion of authentic 'fake news'.

The area is also home to many wealthy & non-environmental commercial DEVELOPERS...a bane to many of the good people of Palo Alto.

Walnut Creek/Danville and Contra Costa County as a whole is the OC of the San Francisco Bay area. *ugh*

Like this comment
Posted by Get Over It
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 25, 2020 at 10:25 am

that that > that THEY.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 27, 2020 at 1:57 am

Don't forget - This all began in Wuhan near the WIVirology with an aerosol hemorrhagic virus similar in structure to those found in asymptomatic bats.

7 people like this
Posted by Stay-at-home Mom
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2020 at 12:27 pm

Amen to Get Over It's postings! And thank you for your service to our country. My uncles served in WWII in combat, made it home alive. One uncle kept a diary and it's scary to read.

Unfortunately, we are dealing with the generations who were raised via participation trophies and feel-good parenting so they need their kudos, emotional support animals, socialism, selfishness.

I did co-sleeping, long-term breastfeeding and major nurturing, but I also taught my kids to be competitive, reliable and responsible. Kids need love but also need to know expectations and need guidance. Parenting has gone downhill and parents are too busy to take care of their kids due to the distraction of technology so they just allow society to raise them.

My daughter worked PT at a Stanford restaurant a couple of years ago and some employees just didn't show up for work, yet the business needed them so they weren't fired. Another employee said racist comments behind the scenes.

What's happening in the U.S. is frightening; anarchy and socialism will not keep our nation strong and it's been proven in other countries that socialism is a big failure. I yearn for the good old days of the 70s when I was in high school where people were appropriate, had good manners and good work ethic.

Those who worked hard and saved their money are not suffering. I wish it were a lesson to all but I think it just moves us closer to socialism. The wealthy cannot be expected to support all the slackers who refuse to work.

Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 28, 2020 at 9:48 am

Get Over It:
>> "Grow a pair" is never, never a serious or realistic answer for anything except some frivolous humor in a TV show or movie.

> "Grow a pair"

I notice you did not use that phraseology in your reply, so basically you must agree with me when you finally get to the point. Sorry, but I still disagree with you.

You are operating at the comment board level trying to slam your point of view out there, but this is not an issue of emotionality, the real relevance in this issue comes from listening to the experts and thinking of others to work to end this pandemic. Am I wrong or are you equating thinking of others and acting in their interests as an absence of testicles?

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