New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday the coronavirus pandemic was a "profound transformational" moment in U.S. history that was so traumatic, it will leave many Americans with post traumatic stress disorder.
"Covid was a trauma for this country. Covid was like being at war," Cuomo said at a press conference on a boat off Long Island. "I don't know that we've even fully appreciated all of the effects of the trauma that we've gone through. There's going to be PTSD from Covid."
Cuomo said he will provide more information on the mental health consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak next week. He highlighted the need to understand the psychological impact of the pandemic on school-age children, domestic abuse and substance abuse.
"This is a profound transformational moment in society," Cuomo said. "One of the lessons to me about Covid is it shows you how dangerous denial is. Well Covid, who would have known? Anyone who was paying attention would have known."
The Democratic governor referred to previous viral outbreaks, including the SARS in China that was also a coronavirus and was transmitted from animals to humans.
Cuomo stood firm on his conservative approach to reopening businesses, even as restaurant groups apply pressure to expand indoor dining in New York City. Cuomo said the aggressive tactics New York employed to contain the virus allowed it to get the infection rate down to about 1%.
"Our calibration now between managing Covid and opening businesses, that's an ongoing tension," Cuomo said. "We're not yet at a point where we can get back to normal life."