For me, one way to think about the pandemic is as one, long, breaking news story. Since we learned about the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 — and especially since the moment when we knew it was certain to come here and change our lives — I've been on high alert. I've woken up nearly every morning with an endless to-do list and a strong urge to GET INFORMATION OUT THERE.
It's hit everyone a little bit differently, but it's a fact that operating in this state of emergency all the time takes its toll on our mental health. I talked about my own experience on the emotional pandemic roller coaster for the Transmission podcast from KNKX, one of Seattle's NPR stations.
The episode, called The Long Winter, features me and two other people who have struggled with our mental health over the past year. The producers did a lovely job with weaving our stories together into a narrative arc that I think a lot of people will relate to.
If you are having a mental health emergency, you can call the Alaska Careline at 877-266-HELP (4357) or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Both are confidential and staffed 24/7. Also, I'm pretty open about my mental health issues, so feel free to reply to this email if you don't know what else to do.
-- Jennifer Pemberton, KTOO Managing Editor