This Thanksgiving, it may be better to forget about even trying to pretend things are normal.
Instead, Karestan Koenen suggested acknowledging up-front that it will be different, difficult even. Family traditions will be disrupted, gatherings — when they occur at all — will be smaller and stranger, possibly in chilly November backyards, masked and a little awkward among those you know best. If there are empty seats at the table, the Harvard psychiatric epidemiologist said it’s important to communally remember loved ones lost during this COVID year.
Koenen, a professor of psychiatric epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, addressed the upcoming holiday as well as the broader issue of mental health in the pandemic’s autumn and winter depths during a Facebook Live event Tuesday. Sponsored by The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and PRI’s” The World,” the event featured moderator Elana Gordon and viewers online asking Koenen questions about COVID-19’s mental health toll.
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