A lot has changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay at home orders were issued, stocks declined, businesses were forced to close, hospitals were running out of PPE, and even essential supplies like toilet paper were getting sold out. People were and still are, also encouraged to wear masks and stay 6 feet apart. A lot of people are wondering “when will things just go back to normal?”. Though, what is normal? Pastor Steven Furtick from Elevation Church talked about how when individuals are put in situations that they are unfamiliar with, they tend to go back to what they know. To some, that may just cause more harm than good. Hopefully, the outcomes post-pandemic are more positive than the circumstances prior to the pandemic.
Large amounts of money were given to students, those who filed for unemployment, small businesses, and more via the CARES Act. It makes people wonder what actions could have been done by the government previously to stop other issues, especially the issues affecting women. The gender pay gap, treatment gap, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDS), depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse are just a few things that heavily affects women .
Women that are already faced with such hardships had to make difficult transitions to discover a reasonable “new normal” during the pandemic. The transition post-pandemic may not make things any easier. With jobs opening back up while schools and daycares remain closed, how are these women coping with such difficult situations? Treatment centers and clinics are starting to allow in-person appointments. Many clinics are taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of patients and hospital staff. Gwinnett Clinic is one place that is taking necessary precautions like enforcing a 3 step screening process and large waiting rooms for social distancing . Though, with the high demand and the fear that some women have, there is a decreased chance of women being able to get the proper treatment that they need. This can lead to women trying to self medicate themselves with the use of alcohol. There are many negative effects associated with alcohol as a stress mechanism in response to COVID-19. Alcohol abuse is one negative outcome that could occur. Especially for women who had previous occurrences of alcohol abuse.
We previously discussed alcohol abuse but what about recovery? Recovery can be different for every person. Though, it is important that you take time to not only heal physically but also mentally. Psychiatrists anticipate an increase in mental health needs due to COVID-19 . Some of those needs even relate to alcohol-related issues. Also, physically, detox from alcohol may take only 4-5 days. Though, liver damage can take years to repair or can even be irreversible. There are a few resources available to help women dealing with these types of issues. Amatus Recovery Centers is a good place that provides treatment to overcome addiction. “Women are less likely than men to seek professional help for addiction”. So their Women’s Rehab Center provides services and plans specially focused around the needs of women.
Overall, take these last moments in quarantine to reflect on what you learned about yourself. We may not know what’s exactly next for us or what our new normal will look like. Though, aim to surround yourself with positivity by keeping in mind what works best for you. Don’t revert back to old negative habits that just end up holding you back. Whether its seeking treatment, getting into a support group, or picking up a new hobby, find something to incorporate into your new normal that will transform you into a better you.
- Gwinnett Clinic. CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) Updates: Gwinnett Clinic – Atlanta, Georgia. (n.d.). Retrieved May 26, 2020 from https://www.gwinnettclinic.com/coronavirus/
- Hlavinka, E. (2020, March 24). Psychiatrists Anticipate Mental Health Needs With COVID-19. Retrieved from https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/85576
- Nall, R. (2019, June 10). How Long Does It Take to Detox from Alcohol? Timeline and More. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/alcoholism/how-long-does-it-take-to-detox-from-alcohol
- National Institutes of Health (2016). What health issues or conditions affect women differently than men? Retrieved May 26, 2020 from https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/womenshealth/conditioninfo/howconditionsaffect
- Women’s Rehab Center: Women’s Addiction Treatment Programs. (2020, May 26). Retrieved from https://www.amatusrecoverycenters.com/addiction-treatment-center-programs/womens-rehab-center-program/