Part II: Pandemic Psychology
Sixty-six year old psychologist Dr. Brian Fast of CCAHope in Delmar discovered that mandated or voluntary separation and even isolation during the pandemic didn’t change the need to be known and to know.
“We need interaction,” Fast said, “and to understand where people are at and what’s going on in their lives and to offer support to others.”
Fast draws on theology for such reasoning. He says that God is described in The Bible as “love” and He is a three-part being who is eternally and perpetually other-focused, self-sacrificial and unconditionally related as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
“If we are created in God’s image and God is a ‘community’ of three persons,” Fast concludes, “then humans are not going to do well by ourselves. It may sound romantic to be self-sufficient and to say, ‘I did it my way,’ but that’s not how we’re made.”
Fast explains that there is an inexplicable dynamic when people get together whether in-person or through technology.
“Neuro-psychology suggests that humans are pre-wired to experience intense pleasure with one another’s stories that light up centers of the brain like nothing else does,” Fast said.
Drawing on his faith, Fast quotes a telling scripture about community: “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another.” (The Book of Hebrews 10:24,25 NLT)
“Gathering at church, for example,” he says, “makes life pour out of you and into me and out of me and into you in a way that we’re better from being together. That’s how the church is meant to function and how humans are meant to function.”
During the pandemic, the idea of being known and knowing others seemed to bring a greater meaning to the oft-asked and frequently flippant age-old question, “So, what’s your story?”