Hanging in there: Mental health and wellbeing in the aftermath of COVID-19

Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. As a psychiatrist, part of my routine, not surprisingly, is asking people how they are. Recently, I have been struck by the fact that most people now reply with the same phrase: “I am hanging in there.”

One patient broke it down for me when I asked what this meant: “Doc, it means I am OK for the moment, but I have no idea what’s going to happen next.” 

Other patients have agreed with this sentiment. A few recalled a poster from the ’70’s of a kitten hanging from a rope. The kitten is OK — for the moment.

Photos of mayoral candidates Mayor Bill Peduto, Ed Gainey, Tony Moreno and Mike Thompson superimposed on a graphic image of covid-19 illustrations.

Pittsburgh’s mayoral candidates debate COVID and how the city should transition out of the pandemic

PublicSource asked several questions about how Pittsburgh should move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic in wide-ranging interviews between April 6-12 with the city’s four Democratic mayoral candidates. They each had a different take on when to get vaccinated, how to bring back the city’s workforce and whether to close streets to provide more outdoor seating.

When surviving is just the beginning: Lessons from my experience with terminal illness may help those dealing with post-COVID trauma

Compelling personal stories
told by the people living them. I fall into this thought experiment from time to time where I imagine what it would be like if I jumped ahead in my life by exactly a year to the date. I performed this thought experiment at the end of April 2019. I was about to exit one phase of my life and enter into an indefinite period of unemployment. However, I had some plans in store, ranging from grad school to teaching overseas.

Three community leaders who led COVID vaccine events in Pittsburgh offer ‘one step in the solution to a wholly inequitable process’

Navigating the COVID-19 vaccination scheduling site in Allegheny County is like taking an online final exam when none of the multiple-choice options is the right answer; a privileged few are wrecking the grading curve; and the entrance to the exam site is obscured for the poor, homeless, Black and Brown. Pennsylvania has received more than 2.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines but has only delivered roughly 2 million — or 73.3%. This rate is 5.5% lower than the national average. Five percent may not sound like a lot. But in this case, it is more than just the difference between Pass and Fail. 

An increase to the national average (78.8%) would mean that 146,000 more Pennsylvania residents would already have received their first dose.

As a community health nurse, I know a barrier to health care when I see it. The COVID vaccine signup process is one that can cost lives.

Health systems that prioritize people who are able to go online for hours, hunting for scarce vaccine appointments, are creating barriers for vulnerable people who often have spent most of their lives pressing their noses against the window of a healthcare system that doesn’t seem to care about them.