Documentary on the emotional impact of COVID-19 screens virtually at the Garden State Film Festival
Messinger's film, which has already taken honors in festivals throughout the country, tackles the short- and long-term psychological consequences of the pandemic and resulting shelter-in-place orders.
"According to the Well Being Trust, an additional 75,000 people could die due to what they call coronavirus despair," says Messinger.
The film includes interviews with noted mental health professionals such as nationally recognized psychophysiology expert and TED speaker Dr. Kim Gorgens; president of the Eastern Psychological Association Dr. Amy Learmonth; and a host of people weathering the crisis.
Messinger believes that the emotional impact on individuals and families is an exceptionally under-reported aspect of the pandemic.
"Fear that you or a family member could catch the virus is just one of the common pandemic stressors," he notes. "Isolation, loneliness, grief, disruption in medical services, financial loss, stigmatization and confusion about the disease are among other stressors that could lead to widespread psychological aftershocks, including PTSD symptoms."
Backed by an abundance of documented research and interviews, the film explores the categories of people who are most apt to be affected emotionally by the pandemic and quarantine. Not only does the film chronicle the anticipated emotional effects of the crisis, but it also provides professional recommendations on how to handle the resulting anxiety.
Demonstrating that the emotional consequences of a pandemic and quarantine are nothing new, the film also explores the psychological effects of pandemics as far back at 1348.
In addition to submitting the film to festivals, Messinger has also made it available to groups and organizations for both virtual and socially distanced, in-person presentations.
"LOCKDOWN: The Emotional Impact of COVID-19 and Quarantine" is scheduled to screen virtually during the 4:00 PM film block (BPAC45). Tickets are available at gsff.org/tickets.