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COVID-19 Cabin Fever Is Coming

I suppose some people with small children already have it.

I do know of one person who has not left their home for a year. But, that is a pretty unusual circumstance. Most of are already itchy to be going somewhere, anywhere.

This feeling of being cooped in, has the name of cabin fever  From checking out the link provided I found out that stir-crazy has to do with being in prison, which some people may also be feeling. 

In a "normal disaster" there is usually a disaster mental health component to the disaster response. There are disaster survivors who have lost homes or had injuries. That is typically a triggering type of event for mental health services. And typically, those involve people-to-people contact and counseling. 

Moving forward to COVID-19, I hear the governor of New York talking about fear and panic today and saying that he "fears" those more than the virus. 

Unfortunately we know there are some behaviors that will come out of people being required to stay home. One, the birth rate is likely to go up -- given couples have more time on their hands. That is a good thing! But we can also expect domestic abuse, child abuse, alcoholism, drug use to also significantly increase. More suicides can also be expected. 

There isn't much time to prepare, since all of the above will start happening very quickly, especially if we go into a national lockdown, one of the downsides of trying to stem the transmission of the coronavirus. Having people find a sense of "remote" community is important. I already blogged on it, but look at Groopit as a potential solution your community can use. The earlier you implement it the better. Things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better.

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.
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