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Six months on: Survivors of the Capitol riot struggle with emotional effects

Reporters who were involved in the January attack on the US Capitol still feel the effects on their mental and emotional health.

Earlier this year, we were already shocked to learn how ignorant the FBI was to warnings of the attacks.

We are learning that very little acknowledgement has been given to the long term emotional and mental effects that the riot has had on reporters who were in attendance.

capitol riot
Image: Lev Radin

Many reporters discussed their personal experience of the event in the days immediately after.

However, we are now learning that there have been longer-lasting effects on mental health as more reporters are coming forward.

To the outsider, this may come as a surprise. After all, the 26,000 national guard troops who took to the building for inauguration have long gone.

Meanwhile, the heavy-duty security fence has been taken down, with the final permanent exterior fence set to come down this Thursday.

However, many reporters are worried that the January riot was not one-of-a-kind, and will be the first of many attacks on the building.

Bloomberg News reporter Erik Wasson believes: “it could happen again. It’s something that’s on my radar. We’ve become very complacent in thinking the U.S. is different”.

It’s eerily back to normal,” he continued.Β “Sometimes it feels like one of those horror movies, like the end of ‘Jaws’. Everything feels copacetic on the beach. But you wonder if there’s anything out there”.

The effects have been more far-reaching than many may realise.

Even reporters who weren’t personally impacted by the riots per se, still have to cover a Congress full of members who are still struggling with emotional trauma.

Some reporters who were there for the attack are refusing to return to the building.

Meanwhile, Wasson has allegedly spent hours researching riot survival mechanisms, including learning how to remove his jacket and tie so no one could strangle him, and even how to use a pen as a weapon.