Unusual Outbreaks and Collective Grief
This week we’ve looked at the unique gun problem in the U.S., how to deal with collective grief and unusual outbreaks that aren’t COVID-19. For our full weekly health newsletter, subscribe for free at mindfulobserver.com.
By the Numbers
- 19: In New York City, 19 people have been affected by an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, which is caused by a bacterium. One person has died, and eight are currently hospitalized.
- 1.25: The baby formula shortage is expected to continue until July. In the meantime, the U.S. government will distribute another 1.25 million cans of imported baby formula.
1. Guns in America
Last week’s shooting in Uvalde, Texas, was a grim reminder that, in the United States, children are more likely to die from gun violence than in any other high-income country. Many have again asked why the U.S. has failed to make any significant changes to its gun laws, especially as the threat to the nation’s children and teenages appears to be getting worse.
In the wake of the recent mass shootings, Canada is working to pass legislation to freeze handgun sales and buy back assault-style rifles. Many of the United States’ other wealthy democratic peers have already instituted tighter restrictions to curb gun violence. So, how does U.S. gun policy compare to other countries?
2. Our Shared Grief
Collective grief occurs when a group of people — like a city, country or those belonging to a particular race or ethnicity — share an extreme loss. After the Texas shooting and two-years of a pandemic among other mass tragedies, you may be feeling the unwelcome and all-too-familiar constellation of emotions: sadness, anger, shock, frustration and helplessness. The cumulative effect of what we’ve experienced is yet to be seen, but there are things you can do right now.
Processing collective grief starts with being able to recognize what you’re feeling, and understanding that your emotions are all valid. Experts recommend finding a release for your emotions, through practices like journaling or exercising, and offer more tips on managing grief here.
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By Claire Cleveland, science writer
Edited by Shannon Mullane, senior editor