One thing I’m thinking about this morning is the suicide of Dr. Lorna Breen, an emergency room director in New York City.
In this article by Rhea Mahbubani and Dave Mosher about the recent suicides of Dr. Breen and John Mondello, an EMT in NYC, I noticed these quotes:
“Of my four children — well I guess now I’ve only got three — no one would’ve predicted that Lorna was having a hard time,” Dr. Philip C. Breen, her father, told Business Insider. “She would not even be on that list.”
As the pandemic has left millions under lockdown and triggered deep loss and widespread grief, medical workers and emergency responders like Mondello and Lorna Breen have faced the brunt of the crisis with grueling workloads, unprecedented stress, deep uncertainty, and a steep death count.
Medical workers are drawn to the profession to alleviate suffering and protect their patients. During the pandemic, however, the virus has in many cases robbed them of the ability to achieve either goal.
Laurie Nadel, a psychotherapist and author, characterized the coronavirus as an “equal-opportunity destroyer” that’s forcing frontline medical workers to go “mano-a-mano with mortality on a larger scale” than ever before.
There are ways to support workers in such high-pressure roles, but Dr. Shauna Springer advocates not calling them heroes. “There’s an invisible pressure that comes with that.”
“People are resilient until they’re not. And so people who are called out as resilient are often more reluctant to acknowledge human struggles and to reach out when they need help.”
For people who are resilient until they’re not (which can include all of us), that article advocates the healing powers of listening without offering advice and also doing things to lighten each other’s loads.
Do you see evidence of people who are resilient until they’re not in the images I captured yesterday?
I posted that last picture of that resilient tiger on my Facebook page last night with this caption: “She’s taking crisis calls.” I’m noticing, here and now, that it’s easier to be resilient when somebody has your back.
People are resilient until they’re not, so let’s watch the fifth installment of “Some Good News” with John Krasinski:
Resilient thanks to all who do their best helping themselves and others, including YOU.