Review Article
Volume 9 Issue 7 - 2020
Different Stages of Disaster the Wuhan Experience during the COVID-19 Community Outbreak
Wong HCJ*
Social Work and Social Administration Programme, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College, Zhuhai, China
*Corresponding Author: Wong HCJ, Social Work and Social Administration Programme, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College, Zhuhai, China.
Received: April 26, 2020; Published: June 18, 2020




Abstract

The outbreak of COVID-19 poses great challenges to China in all aspects of disaster management from emergency medical care to city logistic support. The authorities are particularly aware of the need for psycho-social responses as COVID-19 demonstrated very high infectivity and its deceased rates at the beginning was very high in the congested city of Wuhan. When the city was locked down with short notice the whole community of Wuhan citizens were thrown to horror and immense anxiety. Volunteers of medical, counseling and social work background from all over the country joined to form support teams on line, though they have limited training in crisis intervention. This study derived from the records of supervising these interdisciplinary support teams analyzed the contents as well as stages of psychological reactions of the victims, including the suspected patients, patients and their family members, ex-patients, and average community residents who at any time may fell sick. Records showed that there was a prolonged “Impact Stage” as it took considerable time for central government to mobilize medical resources from other provinces to rescue. Heroic stage was almost non-existent, for patients and their families, as they felt defeated and absolute hopeless when medical resources was totally out of reach. Disillusionment, marked by anger, depression and frustration, immediately set in. The building of cabin hospitals brought to the victims a temporary sense of security and safety, which may be regarded as a phase of Honeymoon. However, disillusionment started to rise again when patients were discharged to the community. Ex-patients were found to have a strong sense of shame while prejudice against the sick was widely held by residents. As PTSD normally has a delayed effect, the findings pointed to the urgent need of providing community mental health services targeting at the victims and their families. Proper health education to correct misconceptions towards the recovered patients must be launched to prevent blaming the victims.

Keywords: Psychological Phases of Disasters; COVID-19; Community Based Crisis Intervention

References

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Citation: Wong HCJ. “Different Stages of Disaster the Wuhan Experience during the COVID-19 Community Outbreak”. EC Psychology and Psychiatry 9.7 (2020): 47-52.

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