People Are Sharing The Dark Effects Of The Pandemic That Are Rarely Talked About And It's Truly Eye-Opening
"Many guide dogs forgot how to be a guide during the pandemic because they didn't need to go anywhere with their owner."
Warning: This post includes topics of assault and substance abuse.
Recently Reddit user u/dis_2much asked "What are some of the darker effects COVID-19 has had that we don’t talk about?"
A lot of the responses brought up things many people may not have thought of or known about. Here are the most insightful ones:
1. "I'm a Pediatrician. We have had multiple babies and toddlers brought to the hospital by police for being 'found alone in the home with caregiver deceased.'"
2. "There's been a sky rocket in domestic abuse as families are forced inside with one another, coupled with financial issues, or just being stuck with abusive partners and nowhere to go."
3. "During the pandemic, so many people have been getting pets that veterinarians cannot keep up. There is also a very real chance that animal shelters are going to be overloaded with abandoned pets once people stop working from home."
4. "Deaf and partially deaf people were very affected. My mother, who wears hearing aids, also depends on reading lips, especially in louder, busier areas because hearing aids can have trouble sorting through complex noise situations. You can imagine what happened when everyone covered their mouths with face masks. Now she's more isolated than ever. Since then, I've ran into a coworker who is also partially deaf but doesn't want to return to office because while she can read lips on Zoom, she won't be able to if we're masked-up in person."
5. "My high school students are woefully lacking in terms of behavior and meeting social expectations. It’s like they have no idea how to function at school. This group has been affected by the pandemic since grade 8, which is when work habits tend to take form. This will take a few years to rebuild."
6. "I work with a lot of folks that are in substance abuse recovery and the rate of relapse has gone through the roof. I've had more clients overdose and die last year than I lost due to COVID. Definitely more than previous years."
7. "My brother who works for DSS said during the pandemic child abuse reports plummeted. Which likely means that rather than there being less abuse before the pandemic, there are now less chances for people like teachers having a chance to catch and report the signs."
8. "Many guide dogs forgot how to be a guide during the pandemic because they didn't need to guide their owner anywhere. A YouTuber called Molly Burke has had to retire her guide dog early because of it. It's something I don't think a lot of us would take into account but many with guide dogs have suffered from it."
9. "As a dental student, I see lots of people who neglected their teeth who otherwise might not have if they still had their regular cleanings, checkups, or returned for definitive treatment over the last 18 months. This is partly the fault of dental offices canceling appointments indefinitely and never rescheduling the patients, but also partly patient fear of catching COVID from other patients."
10. "The work environment has been rather toxic. I work in a company where some people have the option to stay home while others don’t and it has caused some resentment between departments."
11. "There is some cognitive decline even in those who weren't infected with COVID-19. The lack of stimulation and the excessive stress affect people. People's attention spans and memories are shot. Their reasoning ability is dimmed. Myself included."
12. "One thing I have noticed is the development of young adults who before COIVD were young enough to be 'young people' but are now considered adults. None of them have any idea how they are meant to be or behave. My brother turned 18 a week before the lockdown here in the UK, he is now almost 21. People hear his age and expect him to be a more mature and adult, but really he is still an 18-year-old in his head. I really feel for that age group. They have missed some massively formative years that show you how to live and interact in an adult world. His anxiety levels are off the charts and he has gone from quite an independent young person to someone who constantly needs confirmation and validation. I'm sure it's very similar for many people his age."
13. "My dad works in education, specifically related to technology. He occasionally logs on to K-5 classes and it’s an unmitigated sh*t show. Teachers trying to sing the ABC’s while kids completely ignore them, grandparents accidentally turning the camera off, broken Chromebooks left and right. Middle school is just as bad for different reasons. My dad is convinced that this pandemic will result in one of the most underdeveloped generations of kids in decades, and we’ll be feeling the effects for quite a few years to come."
14. "People who didn’t get COVID but do have ongoing health problems were less able and less likely to get the ongoing care that they would normally get. What you’re seeing now is an uptick in 911 calls and ER visits because their conditions worsened and now have become medical emergencies. The health crisis that this pandemic caused is much farther reaching than just the people that got COVID."
15. "Children of vulnerable parents with disabilities or immune disorders who are disproportionately affected by long COVID are now acting as caretakers for their parents, off the books, trying to care for their parents and go to school at the same time."
16. "Supply chain shortages! It's contributing to skyrocketing cost of living everywhere. Every time things shut down, it only gets worse."
17. "We were watching The Office the other day and my 4-year-old asked why they were not wearing masks. We had to remind him that life used to be different. I can only imagine what is going through our children's heads."
18. "People who were furloughed had time to realize they hate their job. I can only speak in service industry, but it feels like a soul crushing job more than ever. I used to love bartending, and now it feel trapped by it. Everyone I talk to seems to feel the same. The money doesn't seem worth it anymore. Guests are worse and more entitled than ever, and staff shortages have made shifts harder and longer. It has left me with a sense of hopelessness, as it's the only career I've known, but I cannot imagine a future continuing to do it."
19. "My memory is trashed. I clicked on a movie in our recent downloads and asked my hubby, 'You wanna watch this?'. He was freaked because apparently we had watched this two days prior. He went through it with me scene by scene but I had no memory of it. I now frequently forget the door code at work. My mom is really going through some stress right now and I speak to her daily. Sometimes I forget the people she's talking about or entire conversations and I feel like an awful daughter. I never had a memory issue before. This isn't on purpose, it's only happened since I had COVID-19 (from which I was very ill for about a month) but my doctor's response was that nothing can be done because no one is researching the long term memory effects yet."
"So I am just in limbo. Managers give me jobs to do at work and before I finish one, I forget the other thing and everyone thinks I am an idiot. Having 'COVID fog' isn't a legit thing yet so most people just think I am an idiot. I have two degrees and I now struggle in a mediocre job. It sucks."
20. "I am a therapist working in bereavement and attached to a local hospice. The past 18 months have been brutal. The amount of trauma and instances of stalled or complicated grief responses I have seen have definitely increased. Not being able to mourn the death of a loved one properly, not being able to be with them as they die, not being able to visit them, not being able to hold proper funerals, not being able to hug each other or sit near each other when saying goodbye. These things are massively increasing the difficulties in people being able to process their loss and grief, even when the person has not died of COVID-19."
21. "Dog rescues are facing increased pressure as people start to return to work and find their dogs have horrendous separation anxiety due to lack of correct training."
22. "There's been more division between families because of opinions/beliefs on how to deal with COVID."
23. "There's more frailty in the older adults. We’ve seen a lot of older adults coming into acute hospitals who’ve had a massive deterioration in functionality, especially those with dementia. Without their regular routines, exercise, and social visits they’ve almost certainly lost years off of their lives."
24. And "There are number of people who had JUST sunk their entire life savings, second mortgages on their homes, and their kids' education funds into that amazing new business that was going to be a sure-fire hit and make huge profits and then within a month all the COVID lockdowns started, thousands upon thousands of folks had their life dreams and futures utterly CRUSHED."
Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.