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People are Feeling More Joy, Hope As Pandemic Winds Down, According to Latest AdventHealth Survey

Photo: Eye for Ebony
Photo: Eye for Ebony

Patients at AdventHealth hospitals across seven states including Florida were asked questions about their mental health a year and a half on from the start of the pandemic. 

An AdventHealth survey found that most Central Floridians are increasingly feeling more joy and hope as more people get vaccinated and life returns to normal post-pandemic.

But Psychiatrist Dr. Luis Allen says that doesn’t mean that some people still aren’t dealing with depression and anxiety brought on by the pandemic. 

Allen says some people might struggle with feelings of unease when it comes to not wearing a mask or even socializing with people after almost two years of COVID-19. 

“From a cognitive standpoint, it took a lot for us to get into this habit. Now it cannot be just like a light switch that we turn it off and all of a sudden we are going to remove it. So each person is going to have to work through how they’re going to feel comfortable.”

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Allen says if anything the silver lining of the pandemic has been that it has normalized seeking help for mental health problems as one in four people in the US experienced depression. 

He says people should continue to seek treatment for prolonged behavioral changes including problems sleeping or enjoying favorite pastimes.

“If you’re really not experiencing this sense of relief or this improvement of mood. If you’re really experiencing still some changes in sleeping pattern, you feel like you just cannot get into a routine, then at this point we should probably be looking to see a counselor.”

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Allen says in families where some children are vaccinated and others are not, it’s best to keep a uniform mask policy in place so as to help set up the "new normal" routines in their household.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.