The evidence from recent surveys asking people about their emotions during the pandemic is not convincing one way or the other either, experts said. One reason is that these surveys often do not make distinctions between people in the thick of the action — front-line workers, in this case — and everyone else. Millions of Americans have been juggling Zoom cocktail hours with Netflix binges: a time-management challenge, perhaps, but not one that has been linked to prolonged trauma.
Moreover, psychological distress usually takes time to consolidate into the kind of persistent condition that drives people to seek treatment, revealing a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder, for instance, is defined in part by excessive anxiety for at least six months. Post-traumatic stress requires, first, experiencing a life-threatening event, either personally; through a loved one; or up close, like witnessing deaths in an intensive care unit. Nightmares and other reverberations