Fears of Life Going Back to Normal

Many people are excited for life to go back to normal after the pandemic. However, some fear having to socialize and go out in public again, especially after being isolated for so long.

Kalyn McLeod, Columnist

COVID-19 has affected everyone’s lives greatly within the past year, and many people can’t wait for the pandemic to end. With vaccines becoming more widespread and restrictions starting to be lifted, it looks like hoping for an end to the pandemic finally feels like a realistic possibility. However, many people seem nervous about it and don’t really want things to go back to normal.

Plenty of people fear the uncertainty of life going back to what it used to be, scared that something may happen after getting vaccinated, or that COVID-19 will continue to cause chaos. While those are understandable concerns, they are unlikely given the success rate of vaccines thus far. However, others have a more personal worry about returning to the normal world, and that is simply that they forgot how to socialize. As someone who already had social anxiety before the pandemic, I completely understand this. Lauren Corriher with Elemental explains that the pandemic has caused an increase in social anxiety, which makes sense since most people hardly socialized for months. Many introverts like myself enjoyed these months of little socialization, but unfortunately, it’s making reemerging into society even harder.  So here are some tips to help cope with the fear of human interaction.

Most importantly, try your best to face your fears. It will only make things worse if you wait to socialize until you have to. Medical News Today explains that hiding in technology and avoiding socializing will make it harder to get out into public. It is best to start with small groups you are comfortable with, then slowly work your way up to larger groups. Mindfulness and visualization techniques might also help, according to Corriher. Imagine all your worries floating away, or putting them in a jar and locking them away. Another thing that may help is to be open about your anxiety. Tell others what is or is not helpful. That way they know your comfort levels, but they can also help you in social situations.

Hopefully trying some of these tips will help with the social fears of life going back to normal. It is also important to remember all of the positives, like traveling, eating out, and hanging out with friends that come with the end of the pandemic.