Phases of psychological response in COVID-19: A preliminary heuristic

George S. Everly, Albert W. Wu, James B. Potash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To explore the putative phases of the psychological response to disaster: preimpact, impact, heroic, honeymoon, disillusionment, and recovery, and make recommendations for corresponding interventions. CONCLUSIONS: Disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic are often characterized by chaos and uncertainty. As a result, public health disaster planning and response represent formidable challenges. Although disasters can result from a wide array of hazards, regardless of the agent at work, they may follow a rather predictable trajectory of psychological phases. A heuristic of those phases can provide an opportunity for a more organized disaster mental health response and more efficient utilization of scarce resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of disaster medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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