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After a long, dark year, social muscles have atrophied. Personal gatherings are now calling for important questions about the safety of COVID-19. And many people, who found relief during a pandemic in empty calendars, do not want to return to the world as they knew it.
NPR’s All things considered Heard from listeners grappling with these new facts, and we enlisted two experts to help answer these questions: Dr. Lucy McBrideA primary care physician, he has heard a lot about post-epidemic barriers from patients. Letting go of the past In order to build a better future. Listen to the audio player above and read on for an extract from their responses.
“How can I – and we all – navigate the social minefield that determines whether friends, acquaintances, and family members are comfortable with personal events and are vaccinated before we invite them to something? With it? ” – Zachary Wilson, Pittsburgh
at noon Is rainingA: I think there is a great deal of freedom and some grace to ask these perhaps more private questions to ask in earlier times, while it is not inappropriate to ask them now – and just ask them, “What is their comfort level?” And they could just say, “I’m not comfortable,” and you accept that.
How to be an introvert
“I discovered that feeling isolated really motivated me. How do I politely and firmly decline invitations to social events that I do not want to go to once I am unable to use the epidemic as an excuse?” Raymond Schultz, Manchester, New Hampshire
Is raining: The truth is that “no” is a complete sentence as they say is not it? We have been socialized to believe that we have to give a reason for “no”, but I think you can simply say “no”.
Lucy McBride: If nothing else, the pandemic has revealed the crucial importance of tackling our mental health. And for some people, having optimal mental health isn’t just about not contracting COVID, it’s about having time to sleep and relax. So, I think we need to realize what it means to be human: It’s more than just the absence of disease, it’s making our needs known and communicating them to others.
Maintain a work-life balance
“It was always difficult for me to send my kids to daycare every day. And the epidemic – although not perfect, certainly, in many ways – was an opportunity for me to work. And the Be with my kids. This was cool and I’m too afraid to let go. – Jill Settle, Silver Spring, Maryland.
Is raining: I understand that hesitation and hesitation, and grief over the fact that we have a chance for things not to return to what they were. We were able to [begun] To formulate a new natural way, a new way of life, a new way of thinking – as it relates to work, as it relates to family. These things did not happen.
McBride: When you deal with a crisis like this, you can suffer from post-traumatic stressors – and we’ll all be on some level. There is also something called post-traumatic growth. I think there are moments in our life, and this is one of them, where we can really think seriously and think big about what the future should look like. There is a lot to give up and a lot that we can improve.
Back to small talk?
“I feel like I’ve lost the ability to converse smoothly with others. I wonder, how can we relearn to do this after a year of having to think of others as dangerous?” – Jake Blount, Providence, Rey
McBride: The way I give advice to my patients is to start really small. You probably shouldn’t go to a big cocktail party for your first outing. You might want to go for a walk with your close friend and see how it feels.
Is raining: I’d also say, even with the question of the short talk, you know, do we have to bring that back with us? … Maybe there is something in between, like eye contact, like, “How are you? It’s good to see you.” … admitting that we’ve been through something.
Zoning with tolerance
“How do you get over and forgive people because you didn’t take the epidemic as seriously as you did?” Gabe Markle, Los Angeles
Is raining: Instead of resorting to judgment … I think we need to turn to the question. What information or misinformation do they drink that shapes their thinking? And I know it is hard to do, to be able to extend grace, give some freedom and give some freedom. But I think we should be tempted to wonder – even just for your peace and mind, if nothing else.
McBride: We need to give people spaciousness, forgiveness, and authority. Because we all have experienced trauma and everyone will treat it in different ways.
Kat Lonsdorf and Courtney Durning produced the voice of this story. Emma Bowman adapted it for the web.