Changes that have Evolved

Changes that have Evolved

I am aware that I have written about the pandemic and its effect on people. This is a new event in our lives, to have our lifestyles change in innumerable ways in a short period of time. As a result, we don’t have data collected, organized and studied sufficiently to be able to give an analysis of the effect it has had on each of us. Yes, we are all unique individuals, but there are factors that cause similar results in many.

For example, we know that second- and fourth-grade students were delayed in their learning. We have not done overviews of all levels of education to the extent these two years were evaluated.

Many changes have occurred. People are waiting longer than ever for medical appointments. We know many doctors, nurses, and staff were burned out by the amount they experienced for a very long time. Likely less are practicing now or have lessened the number of people they are seeing. Due to minimal medical care being available initially, there is a backlog of tests to be run and people seen. Now more are connecting with doctors virtually. It was the way many began reconnecting to patients, and it has continued. Not everyone is happy with this.

For unclear reasons, people are missing appointments with doctors, therapists (both psychological and physical), hairdressers, and others. Many professionals are now sending out more than one reminder. There are emails and phone calls. It is unclear if this is a result of mood (laziness), preoccupied thinking, or financial stress. There may be other factors affecting those who are participating less.

I have heard innumerable complaints about how prices have increased on our purchases, like food and gas. People are resentful about increased costs at restaurants, forgetting the increase of food prices, as well as the fact that many were closed for a long time, still maintaining many costs like rent.

And locations are open with fewer workers. Some cannot afford more help, and some cannot find adequate help. Many people have become dissatisfied with their jobs and have ceased working or brought a less than ideal mood with them.

It appears more people are stressed financially than are talking about it and their options are limited. This clearly will have an effect on their lifestyle as well as their emotional state.

We are not clear about the effect the pandemic has had on all of us, but it has. The last three plus years have also had innumerable events that have made the news, and that has increased stress. It is wise to reflect on what we have each learned about ourselves during this time. I suspect you will discover you are more resourceful than you have realized. Be patient with each other.

<em>Dr. Natalie Gelman is an Alameda-based therapist. Submit questions to or through her website,</em>