In response to a rash of suicides in recent years, Penn students have fought to take charge of their own mental health, creating new peer-to-peer counseling groups and collaborating more closely with the administration on wellness initiatives. Is it enough to combat the pandemic stresses, burnout, and social isolation that afflict “the loneliest generation”?
The past year has propelled America’s most trusted profession into the spotlight, with the World Health Organization’s designation of 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife followed by the unprecedented and continuing challenges posed by COVID-19. Penn Nursing alumni and faculty weigh in on coping with the pandemic and on nursing’s essential—and expanding—place in the healthcare system.
Doctors are worn down by paperwork and long hours, forced to focus on computer screens instead of their patients, plagued by feelings of eroding autonomy, traumatized by a pandemic—and trained to endure suffering with stoicism. What ails physicians bodes ill for their patients. Can the visual arts help revive their well-being? A year-long initiative from Penn Medicine and Philadelphia’s flagship art museums aims to test the theory at internet scale.
When SARS-CoV-2 struck, Susan Weiss was ready. The decades of work that she and a small cohort of fellow researchers have devoted to coronaviruses, despite limited funding and little respect, have been invaluable in speeding the search for treatments and vaccines. It’s been a rare stroke of good fortune in the current crisis—and a lesson in the importance of supporting basic science in anticipation of future ones.
The novel coronavirus has been especially tough on America’s cities—stripping away cultural and social amenities and spotlighting stark realities of income inequality, inadequate healthcare, and punitive policing. Alumni and faculty experts weigh in on whether and how they can be reimagined for a post-pandemic world.