• EAP and COVID-19 2021: Emotional Phases of Disaster Response

      Saia, Sharon (2021)
      At the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic it was not immediately understood that these conditions would endure for the entire year ( 2020). However, as time marched on and surges continued to appear, it became apparent that the Pandemic was a slow moving disaster similar to those like 911, Katrina and other disasters manmade or natural. The presentation of the SAMHSA slide of the emotional phases following a disaster when presented to the Ohio State University Healthcare workers and University staff, resonated and validated their emotional responses. They could see themselves in the graph and even reference verbally where they were. Many were in the “cliff of disillusionment” phase and yet understood this as a normal part of the disaster reaction. The racial and social injustice demonstrations and movements were seen as trigger points. In addition, the Presidential Election and the concurrent political vitriol became yet another trigger theme. As the disaster progressed past the triggers to the one-year anniversary, it gave rise to people noticing they were having anniversary reactions. Perceiving that it brought on the need to notice and feel the grief associated with all the losses in the past year. At present, we all understand that the reconstruction phase is ahead, but many employees are not there, but still in grief. This pictorial display of the Emotional Phases of a Disaster, has permitted our healthcare workers to have words to put to their feelings. There is also an understanding that has emerged that there is a process to what they have been and continue to experience.