Managing Depression during the Coronavirus Crisis

by eea | Wednesday, July 1, 2020 - 5:00 PM

By Susan J. Noonan MD, MPH

The COVID-19 worldwide health crisis has had a major impact on us medically, socially, and economically, with significant disruption to our lives and daily routines. It is a cause of monumental stress, newfound fear, and anxiety in many, including:

fear of the unknown; fear of contracting the virus ourselves and in loved ones, with uncertain and potentially fatal outcomes; concerns about insufficient access to both routine and urgent health care, treatments, procedures, medications, and resources; loneliness due to social isolation and physical separation; fear and anxiety related to erratic changes in our economy, job losses, and diminishing personal financial resources.

The nearly continuous media coverage magnifies our fears, especially when varied, uncertain, rapidly changing, or contradictory information is circulated.

These concerns are more profound in the approximately 25 million adults and adolescents in the United States who experience a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder each year. Most of the life changes that accompany the COVID-19 crisis have a negative effect on depression, our ability to manage it, and the stabilizing factors in our lives that support our emotional health. They include:...Read More

The Reach of a Long-Arm Stapler: An interview with Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez

by may | Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 1:57 PM

Long-Arm Stapler

The Summer 2018 issue of the journal Library Trends includes The Reach of a Long-Arm Stapler: Calling in Microaggressions in the LIS Field through Zine Work . The paper, by Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez, Rose L. Chou, Jenna Freedman, Simone Fujita, and Cynthia Mari Orozco, is an examination of a unique participatory project that was started in 2014 by colleagues in the library and informations sciences (LIS) community. The LIS Microaggressions project began as a crowd-sourced community website, and grew into several issues of a printed zine. The site and subsequent zine were created as a space for library workers, particularly women and people of color, to speak to their experiences of microaggressions in the workplace, and to bring those voices together in a shared, collective space. We are grateful to Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez for taking time to discuss the project and paper in more detail with JHU Press.

How did your academic journey bring you to Library Information Sciences? What drew you to library science?

As an undergraduate at UCLA, I had a work-study student position in the Performing Arts Special Collections (now Library Special Collections). I was a third-year, and...Read More

Dementia Care and Communication during the Coronavirus Pandemic

by eea | Monday, June 29, 2020 - 3:00 PM

By Rachael Wonderlin, MS

Special thanks to Michelle Tristani from Benchmark Senior Living

Communicating with people living with dementia is never an easy task: for many families, it’s the hardest thing they do on a regular basis. Concerned with how to answer challenging questions from an aging loved one (“Where are my parents?”) to coping with repetitive phrases or requests, family caregivers are often unsure of exactly what words to use or even what tone to use.

Enter: COVID-19. In a time where our world seems overrun by stress and uncertainty, comes even more stress and uncertainty for families who have loved ones living with dementia. How can you best communicate with a loved one if their senior care community is shut down due to coronavirus concerns? How can you visit? What do you say to a loved one who may be experiencing anxiety, but may not be able to understand exactly what’s happening around them?

Put simply, here’s the key: we don’t want to add our own anxiety into the mix.

...Read More

Possible Implications of the Novel Coronavirus for Mood Disorders

by eea | Friday, June 26, 2020 - 5:00 PM

By Merry Noel Miller, M.D.

Feelings of anxiety, despair, and even suicidal thoughts may increase during the current pandemic. These feelings are especially likely to develop among those who are more vulnerable due to a mood disorder. Some will feel new, intense sadness and difficulty functioning. Others who already experienced depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder find their conditions worsening at this time.

We are all being told to “socially distance” ourselves, and some are being told to go into quarantine. This leads to a level of social isolation that can be overwhelming for some. The news is dire on every network. Many people have lost their jobs and may be panicking about how to make ends meet. Job loss may bring with it the loss of identity, routine, and social network.

We may be unable to access our usual sources of support. The social distancing rules keep us from experiencing in person the daily conversations with friends and acquaintances that often give meaning to our lives. Our normal lifestyles have been disrupted, including having children at home all day. Frayed nerves can lead to increased conflict. Families who are not used...Read More

The Forms of Informal Empire: Britain, Latin America, and Nineteenth-Century Literature

by eea | Thursday, June 25, 2020 - 5:00 PM

A few years ago, at a get-together in Santiago, Chile, I met a local man I’ll call Luis. Amid small talk, he mentioned that he supervises a number of his family’s copper mines in the north. When I asked him how his family came to own them, he shrugged and said only: “My great-grandfather was English.” I had not told Luis that I was in Santiago precisely to research the history of British involvement in Latin America, so he had no reason to expect my familiarity with the subject. But those four words, for anyone passingly familiar with the economic history of Latin America, are self-explanatory.

When Latin America won its independence in the early nineteenth century, Britain was waiting, pocketbook in hand. Through loans, purchases, and investments, Europeans—but especially the British—took advantage of the vulnerable post-war Latin American economies to gain control over industries ranging from railroads to agriculture to leather. We call this informal empire.

Scholars and history books tend to treat the British Empire as a system of formal colonies, which it was. But it was also this process of influence and coercion, leveraged by massive economic power, in territories beyond their...Read More