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Published on March 11, 2022

Living with COVID: Tips for Moving Ahead as We Mark the Two-Year Milestone of the Pandemic

Cambridge, Mass. – It was two years ago this week, on March 10, 2020, that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. That day, fewer than 10 people per day were testing positive for the virus in the Commonwealth. One month later, more than 2,000 people would test positive each day. Since then, more than 1.6 million Massachusetts residents have contracted COVID-19, and nearly 24,000 have died.

Rev. Beth Loomis, MDiv, director of Pastoral Care at Mount Auburn Hospital, said the two-year milestone is significant. “We have been through a lot. We have changed a lot. The only way forward is — to move forward. Be grateful for what we still have.” She says the pandemic was different for everyone. “Be aware of what everyone else has experienced. Be kind and patient — we are all short tempered.”

To mark the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Massachusetts, Loomis shares these tips to attend to your mental hygiene as a way to shore up one’s mental resources, heal from what we’ve been through and to prepare for whatever may be ahead.

  • It will take a lot of time to integrate the shock of change and the feeling of unsafety we have experienced — so don’t expect a quick fix.
  • Know that we are all experiencing burnout but each person has some unique challenges (the death of a loved one, the loss of income, vulnerability due to being in a high-risk group).
  • Burnout is often experienced when we feel out of control. Our house has burned down and we must rebuild. Focus on what you can control. As we put each new piece of foundation down, appreciate it. Work on having a vision but allow expectations to change.
  • Do this work with others.
  • Start with your body — sleep, exercise, good food.

Loomis says grief and trauma have long term affects; our goal is to move forward but to integrate our experience into our lives as we go. She urges that we embrace and nourish what is most important in life: where we find meaning and purpose; where we can give and receive connection.

About Mount Auburn Hospital

Mount Auburn Hospital was founded in 1886. A teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, its mission is to provide clinically excellent care with compassion and to teach students of medicine and the health professions.

Mount Auburn Hospital is a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,800 physicians and 36,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education.

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