LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on a whole new surge of emotions, including fear, isolation and the toughest of all, grief. This virus has stolen so much, and many who’ve lost loved ones, haven’t even been able to say goodbye — so they end up turning to unhealthy ways to cope.

“I’ve seen people use drugs, more than ever before. Feeling isolated and people losing family members and friends. A lot of people coming to me because they have substance abuse issues that have gotten so out of hand because they are just home all the time so there’s no real delineation between home time and work time,” said Dr. Renee Solomon, a Psychologist and CEO of Forward Recovery.

Patrick Casale, a health insurance broker in Las Vegas, recently just lost his mother to the deadly virus and says the hardest part was not being able to be with her when she took her last breath.

“It’s the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life; Not say goodbye to my mother and hold her and tell her I love her, Casale said. “I can’t believe how many people I actually know that had COVID or passed away from it.”

Dr. Solomon says normalcy and connectiveness is key when coping with this kind of grief.

“Whatever makes you feel normal, so trying to figure out how you can do certain activities. Whether exercise or connecting with friends over zoom or over facetime how ever you can feel connected to family and friends is so important right now,” she said.

Casale says that in March he plans on having a ceremony in his mother’s honor. He plans to spread her ashes in her home state of New York.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

Link to article: https://www.8newsnow.com/news/local-news/psychologist-discusses-ways-to-cope-with-grief-during-covid-19-pandemic/