What to Expect on Reentry

Day 100 of coronavirus in France

Day 49 of enforced confinement

Role Reversal

My daughter and I have experienced this with distance learning. Nearly every time I would give instructions on how to complete a worksheet she would correct me and tell me how the teacher wants them to do it. This created ambiguity of who was in charge.

Work Ethic

Kids that aren’t able to keep up with all the work are told to learn the concepts but not to finish every exercise on every worksheet. But choosing which work to do feeds the ego and the issue above and undermines learning to follow directions and submit to authority.

Neighbor Apprehension

When you treat yourself like you are a potential carrier then you treat others that way too. Will you treat every neighbor like a trojan horse? Will you scare them off if you don’t?

New Disappointments

7 billion humans on earth are all planning what they will do at reentry to make up for lost time. Not all of those dreams will be fulfilled. Keep an eye out for people around you who are experiencing new losses while the world expects them to be rejoicing in freedom. Those losses are just as valid.

Unresolved Questions

We will want to push our existential questions aside as we did before. We will tell ourselves that they are holding us back, when in fact, they are the only way forward. Continue the inner quest that this pandemic has ignited. Fan the flame even if it takes a chunk of your time. It will be worth the time invested, I promise.

Normal Responses to a Global Pandemic

If you or someone you love is experiencing one or more of these, reassure them that it’s not uncommon. Be genuinely curious when you inquire what kind of help would be a relief to them.

* Sense of loss of control, powerlessness, fragility

* Anxiety about money, shelter, food and other survival needs

* Feelings of anger, irritation and frustration

* Depression, dissociation, shutdown, freeze, hopelessness

* Obsessive or intrusive thoughts, memories or fears

* Return of compulsive or addictive behaviours

* Feelings of abandonment, loneliness, isolation

* Food and eating challenges or difficulties

* Generalised fear, anxiety, panic or overwhelm

* Health anxiety about Covid 19 or other health issues

* Feeling unheard or unseen among the many stories of others

* Past traumas being re-triggered, activated or re-experienced

* Feeling like existing chronic needs are being ignored

* New and old grief surfacing

* Thoughts and feelings of death and dying

* Caring for everyone to your own detriment, compassion fatigue

* Other illness beginning, flare ups of chronic conditions

* Feeling exhausted, fatigued, unmotivated, lethargic

* Hyper focus, surges of energy, focussing on doing things to distract

This list provided by Kerrylea Sampson, NZ Registered Psychotherapist and Counsellor.

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