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What COVID-19 Teaches Us About Those Living With A Brain Injury

Symbol of scales is made of pebbles on the seashore

At first blush, COVID-19 and brain injury seem to have little in common. The reality is that some aspects of life during the coronavirus pandemic mirror what it is like to live with the lasting effects of a brain injury. Here is what COVID-19 teaches us about those living with a brain injury.

Finding a “New Normal”

Coping with a “new normal” is something both COVID-19 and brain injury have in common. The coronavirus pandemic has forced all of us to adapt, adjusting many aspects of what we can and cannot do and how we live our daily lives. A traumatic brain injury produces the same result. In the blink of an eye, “regular life” may be forever altered by a car accident. A person who sustains a traumatic brain injury is forced to cope with immediate symptoms and long-term physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges. Full recovery from a brain injury is not guaranteed, particularly for those who sustain moderate or severe traumatic brain injuries, but through the process of rehabilitation, skills and abilities can be regained and strategies for coping with the “new normal” are learned.

Isolation Links COVID-19 and Brain Injury

Social distancing restrictions made necessary by COVID-19 are giving us a taste of what it can be like to live with a brain injury. The short- and long-term effects of a brain injury can be very physically and emotionally isolating. In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, a brain injury can cause headaches, sensory issues (e.g., sensitivity to light and sounds), and extreme fatigue that force a person to recuperate in seclusion, cut off from the outside world. For some, the lasting cognitive, physical, and psychological effects of a brain injury will prevent full reintegration in aspects of daily life. Extreme exhaustion, sensory overload, and pain can cause a brain injured person to disconnect from family, friends, and co-workers. Serious brain injuries can cause difficulties with mobility, communication, and emotional self-regulation that can be further isolating. A person living with a brain injury may also feel self-conscious or uncertain about their post-accident skills and abilities, causing them to further withdraw.

Resources for Those Living With a Brain Injury

There are some fantastic organizations in BC that provide excellent information and support for those who are living with a brain injury. Please refer to the Resources sections of the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association and BC Brain Injury Association’s https://www.brainstreams.ca/ websites for more information. If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident, our personal injury lawyers are an excellent resource for not just legal advice, but also for guidance through the course of treatment and rehabilitation and assistance in navigating the ICBC claims process. Call us today at (604) 689 8888 to request a free phone or video consultation with one of our highly experienced major accident lawyers in Surrey/Delta, Vancouver, Burnaby, and Abbotsford.


By Adam Ueland
Lawyer – Simpson, Thomas & Associates

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