Brittany Bankhead-Kendall, 34, was a newly minted surgeon when the COVID-19 pandemic began. At first, like thousands of other health care professionals, she worked tirelessly in crisis mode.
But by last fall, she was experiencing random and repeated physiological symptoms, including a racing heart and dimmed vision. She diagnosed herself as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The worst of the pandemic may be behind the country. But for front-line health workers such as Bankhead-Kendall, the psychological scars from the chaos and uncertainty they’ve lived through, and the suffering and death they’ve witnessed, may take much longer to heal.