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These last nineteen months and counting have been challenging to say the least. A lot of people have fallen into despair. And before Covid we were already in dark times.

The even bigger issue is that when we discuss this pandemic that there is a lack of important discussion about the effects of this pandemic.

This is not the time to be quiet. If you're in pain, if you're terrified or lost, speak up, speak out. Because times aren't heading back to normal anytime soon, and with frank discussion comes preparation and community.

We can survive, but be we can't stay silent.

Redditor u/dis_2much wanted us all to share about life with and after COVID, by asking:

What are some of the darker effects Covid-19 has had that we don't talk about?

This pandemic has depleted my entire faith in humanity. I don't believe humans will ever be capable of empathy again. Change my mind.

"found alone"

"Pediatrician here- we have had multiple babies and toddlers brought to the hospital by police for "found alone in the home with caregiver deceased."

- greyathena653

"OMG. So in Ireland they were all allowed to have one support family they interacted with during lockdown but here in the US many people shunned each other and when people needed help most and/or the help wasn't there. I feel strongly that this should have been addressed and a plan was made to help families find support or ways to cope better... so many tragedies may have been avoided. Maybe, maybe not."

- SeaLow4549

Reality

"The serious mental health impact and the shifted routine perceptions. I still feel like going out of the house is a dream state and my house is reality."

- KaidenAlenko1992

"If you get over this, it makes your mind stronger. People aren't used to not having social validation of identity and existence. You get to hear the reality better because you are isolated and it can be depressing initially. However the reality is we are born of this world alone, and we will die alone."

- Dangerous_Area_5738

Not Cool Guys

"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."

- OrneryConelover70

"From my understanding, this is already beginning to happen (not sure about the overloaded part but at least the returning part). Not just from people who have died from covid and their pets being sent to shelters, but also people going back to work who can't keep up with caring for an animal like they could while working from home."

"Part of this is due to animals having severe separation anxiety and poor training and there being a lack of animal trainers/behaviorists to help (and a lack of trainers/behaviorists who have seen problems on this scale and to this degree). Gonna be a crapshow for sure."

- pileofanxiety

I thought I was the only one.

"I only feel safe at home. I thought I was the only one. Any avoidant behavior I had before multiplied by infinity. I want to stay in our apartment, grow my own food, clean and keep our tiny apartment nice, and never leave again. I never wanted to do anything like this before. It's like I think it's time to prepare for the apocalypse. I just came from the dentist which was scary as sh*t and I now have tons of cavities."

"I literally thought about removing all my teeth and getting dentures when I found out. I figured one surgery and a couple fittings is better than leaving my home several times for root canals etc. that's right. I wanted to have all my teeth pulled out to avoid a few more trips with my mouth wide open. I'm fully vaxxed and they are fully vaxxed but I'm petrified. And the outside world feels odd AF now. 🤦🏻♀️"

- SnarkFest123

Or yesterday...

"This Christmas is going to be a disaster. I work for a major dept store that carries toys and we're expecting to be sold out of everything by like November. Even regular clothes and stuff, we're still waiting on some products to show up from factories that were supposed to arrive in like July. We've basically had two years of crippled production across the board but because of shipping times, we're only really just starting to see it. Do your Christmas shopping now. Or yesterday."

- 5lytherin

Now I have to start Christmas shopping before Halloween?

"Is it Monday?"

"Cognitive decline, even in those who aren't infected. Lack of stimulation, excessive stress, etc. People's attention spans and memories are shot. Their reasoning ability is dimmed. Self included."

- Oh-Oh-Ophelia

"I feel as though half of my existence in the past 6 months has been trying to remember the word I was just about to say. Today a co-worker asked, "Is it Monday?" Someone else flatly answered, "It's Tuesday." Pre-Covid, we would have made fun of him at least a little bit, but now we're so used to wading through brain soup that we know it could be any of us forgetting what day of the week it is."

- whosthemotherflippin

People Share Dark Secrets From Their Profession The Public Doesn't Know | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

31% of children in the U.K.

"Children of vulnerable parents with disabilities or immune disorders who are disproportionately affected by long covid are now acting as carers for their parents, off the books, trying to care for their parents and go to school at the same time. Because of a lack of canvassing and the closure of charity shops in the U.K, children's charities lost millions over the pandemic (Barnados for example lost 65 million)."

"At the same time, up to 31% of children in the U.K. are now living in poverty, exacerbated by cruel government cuts to services/support. The government are now reducing payments for these families relying on universal credit by ÂŁ80 a month. While food and utility prices are skyrocketing."

- stesha83

Uptick in 911 calls...

"People that 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."

"Source: I'm a firefighter."

- SeanShreds

Treatment

"In my opinion the darker effect is definitely the people with other illnesses that couldn't get treatment because of the lockdown rules. Many people couldn't get life extending radiation treatment and are no longer around. Somehow I feel there could have been a better alternative to no treatment."

- The_Gentle_Viking

"Absolutely this! When they say "elective" surgeries are being canceled, they don't mean cosmetic surgeries. People aren't getting mitral valve replacements, and other VERY SERIOUS surgeries. I've lost one friend to a stroke because his surgery was postponed (M42), and another to cardiac arrest because he couldn't get his old pacemaker swapped out (M35)."

- wiltedletus

Evil Lives

"I work a call center job for restaurants and a man threatened my life over not being able to call the restaurant to ask for Sriracha and soy sauce to be added to his order. Coworker was told by a customer that unless we refunded him, he'd shoot up the restaurant (it was a refund that required the delivery platform, not us). People are absolutely evil lately. I've been harassed with all sorts of things."

- Keykitty1991

Domestic Issues

"911 dispatcher for a small town here. The amount of domestic violence calls I have taken has sky rocketed. It's beginning to seriously dragged me down and exhaust me. I also helped the local programs try to get food to families with kids. I broke down when I realized some kids only get food at school."

- EreeB2017

The Roids

"This is a bit embarrassing because I'm in my 20s, but lockdown made me develop hemorrhoids. It's common among ppl who sit a lot for their work and because of lockdown I get less exercise, and here I am with damn hemorrhoids on top of all the stress and chaos of the pandemic."

- Leemour

We Lived

"I haven't heard a lot of people talk about it, but I had/still have survivors guilt. The guy in recovery next to me passed away in the middle of the night. We had our Hospital dinner hours before and it we had a great conversation. As just before we went to sleep he said "Hey, I really like you man, once we get outta here let's get actual dinner." I said "Absolutely, anything would be better than this stuff!"

"Later that night, I heard his machine go off (we were blocked by curtains) and heard the nurses and doctors come in and wheel him out saying to get the defibrillator. I don't remember much, but that has stuck with me mainly because I thought I was next. I figured I'd never see my wife, family, or friends ever again so I was trying my best to come to terms."

"I didn't find the peace everyone says you find near death. Anyways, after 47 days 10 in the ICU, I was able to leave. Year and a half later I'm here telling you all about my experience. I do still think of that man often, I don't remember his name, I don't know what he looked like, I just know our conversations helped us through."

- Joecus90

Education Messes...

"I know it's been mentioned, but 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."

- captaintrips_1980

Sounds of Silence

"How much hearing-impaired people were affected. My mother, who wears hearing aids, also depends on reading lips especially in louder, busier areas (hearing aids can have trouble sorting through complex noise situations). You can imagine what happened when everyone covered their mouths. Now she's more isolated than ever."

"Since then, I've ran into a co-worker who is also hearing impaired but doesn't want to return to office because while she can read lips on zoom, she won't be able to if we mask-up in person. They were an invisible casualty of this pandemic."

"EDIT: The response to this has been more than I expected! If anyone has links to their favorite organizations to donate to help the hard of hearing, please share them! I hope the stories below help us all be a little more empathetic to each other. Thanks!"

- muffinslinger·

Losing Parts

"Parts are harder to come by, and everything is more expensive."

- Fishmayne

"Yep, and there's going to be knock-on effects from this for years to come. Those parts are hard to come by because they weren't being produced in sufficient numbers for perhaps a whole year or more; since the manufacturers weren't manufacturing, a huge number of them went out of business permanently."

"Every downstream supply chain that relies on any product that isn't being produced is royally screwed, which could cause them to go out of business, and then the companies they supply to, and so on and so forth, until all the dominoes are down."'

- Thick-Poetry·

Less is bad...

"Less cancer and other serious diseases diagnosed and treated, less needed surgeries performed because of the hospital staff being reassigned to covid wards. Less referrals written to not overwhelm specialists. In person health services becoming harder to reach, so less conditions like skin cancer diagnosed. The health of all of us suffers, not only those affected by covid."

- lizalupi

Limbs

"I'm a prosthetist and I'm not sure people are aware that amputation can happen post COVID. I work in a small private clinic and we have about 15 patients who had various levels of amputation secondary to COVID. Would love to know the statistics."

- peg_leg_dog

Job Woes

"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."

- Ch3wbacca1

Shortage

"Supply chain shortages! It's contributing to skyrocketing cost of living everywhere. Every time things shut down, it only gets worse."

- jay000999

"This one hurt right in my pockets. Also rent has raised so much, so between that and groceries I barely have any money left to pay for streaming services, much less go out. My parents started to help me out with medical appointments and we were WAYYYY past that."

- possum_20

I'm going to hold out hope for all of us. I'd like to think we'll be able to get through this, but we'll see. Try smiling a little wider and laugh a little louder. It's a start.

If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/

Photo by UX Gun on Unsplash

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