It’s Time We Talk About Mental Health
Content warning: discussion of mental health crises
Isn’t deciding to birth and raise a child the most fundamental reproductive and life-changing choice we can ever make? Why don’t we encourage girls, starting at a young age, to explore different life paths, and not assume that one day they will or will want to become mothers — and normalize the choice not to do so?
We’re at a point in the political discourse where the focus is on getting through the end of the pandemic and how to generate economic recovery while handling the worsening impacts of climate change. Universal health care, Medicare for all, whatever your tagline is for fixing the health coverage gaps—it’s not a political priority. That needs to change.
I hope that this pandemic is a turning point for our society, too. We can’t afford to take nurses for granted. We need to do more than laud them as heroes and need to better support them so we all can have a brighter future.
This past year has been hell for them. COVID-19 has taken the lives of more than 182,000 nursing home residents and workers. Although cases have plunged as vaccination rates have increased, these workers are still coping with grief, trauma, exhaustion and anxiety. Who knows what the long-term effects will be?
Behind the amazing public health achievements during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic hides a reality that too few people want to talk about: the wildly inequitable ways in which these vaccines are being distributed around the world.
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