By K. Q. THOMAS, Four Points News
Avoiding COVID-19 is only one component of surviving the current pandemic. Social distancing, working from home, schooling at home, business closings, layoffs and furloughs — all have serious physical and emotional impacts.
Steiner Ranch resident and practicing therapist Lauren Gaspar is, along with her family, making her way through the new daily challenges of pandemic life while also helping her clients manage their own fallout.
“Mental health experts are predicting a significant increase in post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, abuse, depression and suicide (in the coming months),” said Gaspar, who has been a therapist for 19 years. “When you combine this with people trying to work every day and perform, it’s a slippery slope.”
Travis County ESD #6, Lake Travis Fire Rescue established the “LTFR COVID19 Task Force” to directly prepare for and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 to firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians. The local force is leading the way in Texas and mitigating the risk and spread of the virus.
“LTFR has met with representatives from fire and EMS agencies on the front lines in Washington state, New Rochelle, N.Y., San Jose, Calif., and New York to ask them simply ‘What do you wish you would have done a month ago?” said Braden Frame, president of the Lake Travis Fire Fighters Association. “Their advice was clear. Limit risk, mitigate cross contamination, clean often, limit physical interactions, especially within the stations.”