COVID-19: Almost a Year Later, Steps to Help Cope

More than 400,000 people have died from COVID-19 in this country since the pandemic began and some public health experts predict the death toll could hit 500,000 people by the end of February. In fact, the United States has seen more total coronavirus deaths than anywhere else in the world.

Each of these tragic losses leaves behind loved ones who are grieving, and the American Red Cross has developed its Virtual Family Assistance Center (VFAC) to support them. People can visit the center and find a support hub for those struggling with loss and grief due to the pandemic. The Red Cross Integrated Condolence Care Program offers special virtual programs, information, referrals and services to support families in need. 

STRESSFUL TIMES This last year has been particularly stressful for everyone. As many as 24,126,100 people (as of January 19) in the U.S. have become infected, more than 10 million are out of work, masks have become the norm and we have all learned how to social distance.

All of this can lead to strong emotions and anxiety. For instance, social distancing and staying home can make you feel lonely and isolated. Your financial situation or loss of employment can lead to fear and worry. Many of us are concerned about our own health and that of our loved ones.

Being exposed to the virus can lead to its own set of problems. Having COVID-19 is stressful as is the monitoring that goes with it. It is stressful to be separated from others and you may be frustrated because friends or loved ones are afraid you will give the virus to them. You may worry about being re-infected or feel guilty about not working or taking care of your children.

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