AdventHealth for Children neuropsychologist: ‘COVID fatigue’ and virus uncertainty weigh heavily on our emotions

AdventHealth Morning Briefing - October 29 2020

This morning on the AdventHealth Morning Briefing, Dr. Michael Westerveld, neuropsychologist and psychologist at AdventHealth for Children, discussed the emotional and mental effects COVID-19 is having on children and adults.

Westerveld suggested a sense of “COVID fatigue” is a real feeling experienced by many, and that uncertainty surrounding the virus is having a yo-yo effect on emotions for all ages.

“Stress is born out of uncertainty,” Westerveld said. “Anxiety is all about not knowing, not being able to predict, not being able to control. We thought we knew about how [COVID-19] affected children and youngsters, but now we are realizing we don’t. As children are being infected and showing lingering effects, that too can be a little bit frightening.”

Westerveld said parents planning to trick-or-treat with children this weekend should make that decision with their kids, as some children may be excited about getting candy, but may be anxious or uncomfortable about going outside because of the virus.

“Kids will often show their stress, their feelings and frustrations through behaviors rather than through emotions,” Westerveld said. “Acting out, aggressive behaviors, changes in physical habits, like lack of sleep or eating behaviors, may be signs of stress. Let them know that it’s OK to talk about it.”

We encourage you to refer to the video on the Life at AdventHealth Central Florida page to pull direct quotes from Westerveld. The video may be downloaded by following this link: