People Struggle to Return to Normal as Pandemic Restrictions Ease

People Struggle to Return to Normal as Pandemic Restrictions Ease

( – The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it economic ruin not seen in America since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Sadly, it also left hundreds of thousands of individuals dead in the nation’s worst health crisis in over a century.

Scientists developed multiple vaccines in less than a year due to the decisive leadership of former President Donald Trump and his Operation Warp Speed program.

As the country begins opening up again, the reality of the damage to the American psyche and way of life is starting to set in, and the situation is far from ideal.

On the plus side, history has a habit of repeating itself. The US emerged from the Spanish Flu pandemic to nearly a decade of song and dance and other forms of decadence during the Roaring 20s. Let’s hope a similar, perhaps less decadent, period of opulence and joy awaits us on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cave Syndrome and Recovery From the Ravages of COVID-19

Americans felt isolated and confused during the pandemic due to harsh quarantines and sometimes unreasonable restrictions. As eager as most people were to go about their normal lives again once the CDC gave the all-clear to start gathering in groups without a mask, many of them are now experiencing concern and anxiety about venturing out into the world again after such a long break.

Florida psychiatrist Arthur Bregman, MD, coined the unofficial term “Cave Syndrome” in March 2021 to describe this hesitancy to step out again. As he explained, it took many Americans months to adapt to life at home with no more restaurant trips, gym workouts, concerts, and the like. However, after months of near-isolation, for many, this way of life became the “new normal.”

Want to talk to someone? Simple, reach out to them on the phone or on Zoom. Need food, clothing, other items? Shop online, have it delivered. Many online merchants offer “non-contact delivery.” A person’s doorbell rings and they go and collect a pre-paid package, and there’s no signature required, no fuss, and no muss. Best of all, there’s no COVID-19.

After a while, Bregman’s Cave Syndrome kicked in with many people. He describes it as less of a desire to stay isolated and more the anxiety of uncertainty of a now, somewhat unfamiliar world. Couple that with the concern that many still have about catching COVID and perhaps dying from it, and America has yet another problem to conquer.

Bregman recommends that people team up with others suffering from the new ravages of Cave Syndrome. According to him, many find it easier to step out of their comfort zone with a friend. He also notes that it’s always possible a new beneficial relationship could result from reaching out to someone.

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