2020 has been a really difficult year for so many people across all walks of life; for so many different reasons.
Where does the hell storm of 2020 start for you? Here are a few line items in no particular order just to put 2020 in perspective:
- Wildfires blaze out of control and destroy millions of acres of forests in Australia and California. Those California wild fires still blaze. Politicians battle each other whether or not climate change is real
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce they are “stepping away” from their Royal Duties
- Iran launches ballistic missiles at two American military bases in Iraq
- Ukranian flight crashes over Tehran, Iran, killing 176 passengers
- An impeachment trial for US President Donald Trump. Trump is acquitted. Depending what side of the isle you’re on, this is either fantastic or a disaster. Regardless of your political stripe, it’s a black eye on American politics showing a nation divided
- Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crashes killing Kobe, his daughter Gigi along with 7 others
- The UK formally draws out of the European Union. Depending on which side of the political spectrum you’re on, this is either great news, or a catastrophe. Nonetheless, it shows a continent divided.
- Stock markets crash globally, recording their largest losses on record
- 2020 Tokyo Olympics postponed.
- Death of George Floyd. Black Lives Matter protests across America show a country divided
- Death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg
- Death of Eddie Van Halen
- Disneyland closes its doors. First time that’s happened since JFK was assassinated.
- COVID brings the world to a standstill with over 1,000,000 deaths and global lockdowns.
It’s the impact which COVID has on people that we wish to highlight. The other events mentioned on this list likely don’t have an impact on your day to day life. But COVID has an impact on everyone, regardless of where they live. Your life changed because of COVID. How you work, live, play, engage with others….All of it has changed. These changes are not for the better. They have impacted everyone in one way, shape or form.
Our lawyers are seeing an uptick in mental illness claims. This should come as no surprise. COVID health protocols in Ontario have called that that we self isolate at times; form bubbles at times thereby limiting our interactions with others; wear a mask; not socialize as we used to; not work as we used to etc. Some people can cope with these changes. Others are having extreme difficulties.
During the first stages of the lockdowns in Ontario, many people either lost their jobs completely, or were told they had to work from home. Working and earning an income is not only a form of sociliazation with your work colleagues; but it’s also a badge of honour. We take pride in our jobs/careers. We like what we do for a living. We like providing for our families, serving our clients and customers and making a difference. Work provides people with sense of pride and personal satisfaction which cannot be replaced while sitting at home and not working or taking a government handout.
It can be very depressing not to work. It can be very depressing being locked down and shut out from the lives we used to know.
It’s for these reasons that we are seeking a spike in the depression and anxiety claims at our law firm. Living during the Pandemic over the past 7 months or so has not been easy on anyone. Getting the help you need during the Pandemic has been a juggling act as well. Many offices are closed or working at half the capacity they normally do. If you aren’t internet savvy, it’s a tough time. You can’t exactly walk in to someone’s office unannounced these days and expect to get the same level of service you had prior to the Pandemic.
The good news is that there is help out there, and more help is on it’s way. Just today, the Provincial Government announced an additional $176 million to support mental health and addiction programs across Ontario. These programs include:
- Community based programs for adults, children and youth both in French and English
- Mental Health and Justice Services
- Support for homeless or those about to become homeless
- Increased care for opioid addictions
- Increased support for Indigenous persons with mental health and addiction issues
- More hospital beds for those with mental health and addiction issues
It’s our hope these mental health initiatives; along with the reality that more workers are removed from work will be an eye opener to long term disability insurers that mental illness is real. Just because you don’t see the disability doesn’t mean that the disability does not exist. The mental and emotional wounds being caused by this pandemic are very real, and will be long lasting. They have, and take shape in many different forms. It could be alcohol or substance abuse; it could be domestic violence; it could be financial duress; or simply a deep dark depression on account of being removed from society; or heightened anxiety of leaving the house on account of COVID. Whatever the reason and whatever the route cause, mental health is very real and we will be seeing the impacts of the Pandemic for years to come.
Some quick tips. Stay positive! Keep in touch with your friends or loved ones. Don’t give up hope. Open your emails and check your mail. The letters and emails from the insurance company mean something. The insurer will rely on their correspondence to you even if you don’t open their letters. What’s contained in those letters could be very important and could have important time sensitive demands and deadlines. Just because we are living during a Pandemic doesn’t mean that the insurance company is going to stop evaluating and adjusting your claim.
If you need help dealing with your insurance company; lawyer up! At Goldfinger Injury Lawyers, we have not stopped working on behalf of our clients during the Pandemic. We have worked hard to keep their cases proceeding as smooth as possible given the circumstances. We continue to press insurers in order to get our clients the benefits and results which they deserve.