Artificially generated portrait of a nurse named William

Case study: William

William is a nurse who works in a COVID-19 unit. During the pandemic’s early days, he hoped that virologists would quickly find a cure, that healthcare systems would quickly get things under control, and that our society would hold together as one until the crisis ends.

However, as time went on and none of those things came to pass, William’s hope transformed to rage. He felt anger at the system, the public, his organization, his colleagues, and even his family and friends. Expressing his feelings to others just caused conflict, so William began holding them in. 

This inner turmoil slowly ate away at him. His rage ultimately turned to despair. William started having thoughts like “This will never end,” “Everything I do is pointless,” “Nothing will change,” or even “I am broken.” 

William could no longer see a way through the pandemic. It felt completely overwhelming to him.

Finally, William has become apathetic. He continues to work but feels numb and detached from both his professional life and his personal life. He is experiencing a type of hopelessness.

Image generated by Midjourney.