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Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; 17: e385, 2023 04 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2315480


OBJECTIVE: In January 2022, Fiji was hit by multiple natural disasters, including a cyclone causing flooding, an underwater volcanic eruption, and a tsunami. This study aimed to investigate perceived needs among the disaster-affected people in Fiji and to evaluate the feasibility of the Humanitarian Emergency Settings Perceived Needs Scale (HESPER Web) during the early stage after multiple natural disasters. METHODS: A cross-sectional study using a self-selected, non-representative study sample was conducted. The HESPER Web was used to collect data. RESULTS: In all, 242 people participated. The number of perceived serious needs ranged between 2 and 14 (out of a possible 26), with a mean of 6 (SD = 3). The top 3 most reported needs were access to toilets (60%), care for people in the community who are on their own (55%), and distress (51%). Volunteers reported fewer needs than the general public. CONCLUSIONS: The top 3 needs reported were related to water and sanitation and psychosocial needs. Such needs should not be underestimated in the emergency phase after natural disasters and may require more attention from responding actors. The HESPER Web was considered a usable tool for needs assessment in a sudden onset disaster.

Disaster Planning , Natural Disasters , Needs Assessment , Humans , Fiji , Disaster Victims/psychology , Feasibility Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Floods , Tsunamis , Cyclonic Storms , Volcanic Eruptions , Male , Female , Adult , Middle Aged , Aged
Australas Psychiatry ; 28(6): 636-638, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-656377


OBJECTIVE: If the narrative of "coronavirus" has an underlying theme, it may perhaps for some be one of survival, whilst for others, the theme might be suffering. The recurring motif of survival has continued throughout history, yet for the first time the sum of all fears has amounted to a run on the bare essentials. This paper seeks to offer an alternative formulation of "panic buying," with references to literature, philosophy, and contemporary neurobiology. CONCLUSION: The bare essentials disappeared perhaps as part of some self-fulfilling prophecy: the supermarkets became bare because others inadvertently lead us to believe they would become bare. The contagion model of emotional propagation provides a psychological model of how "panic buying" by an individual might lead to the replication of panic in an observer. The Polyvagal Theory further informs us of how the threat posed by the pandemic primes our limbic system to perceive danger, and explains how witnessing others engaging in fight-flight responses might evoke a fearful affect in an observer. In the end, it is perhaps through Nietzsche's study of classical tragedy that we may find some meaning to the pandemic, allowing our collective lived experience to serve as a template for growth.

Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Disaster Victims/psychology , Fear , Neurobiology , Panic , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Survival/psychology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Emotional Adjustment , Humans , Pandemics , Psychological Theory , Psychology, Social , SARS-CoV-2