Remembering Summertime and Living Easier (At Least for Some)

About a year ago, things seemed to be looking up. Where are we now?

Just over a year ago, on Jude 30th, I did a video titled "Summertime and the Living is Easier (At Least for Some)." My wife Rusti did the musical introduction with an excerpt from the popular George Gershwin song “Summertime,” from which the video title was inspired. At least for some, some societal problems seemed to be getting better back then: the COVID pandemic seemed to be relenting; the decreased use of energy over the pandemic clearly showed how our environment could improve; an antiracism event was the nomination and soon-to-be Supreme Court judge of a Black woman; and mass shootings seemed to be in a bit of lull.

All that has reversed so I would assume the living is easier for less now than last year. COVID cases have increased once again, although maskless and unvaccinated people act as if the pandemic was over. We are back to the prior use of fossil fuels, even if gas prices are reflecting significant inflation. Heat records are occurring in the Midwest and Southwest. Racism was obvious in the Buffalo mass shooting, and the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

All these changes have negative repercussions for mental health. Not only do we need more mental health care as a consequence, but we are in need of more psychiatrists to become involved in addressing these social psychological problems.

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. To create a better world, he is an advocate for treating mental health issues related to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times™.