For most, the end of 2020 is something to look forward to. The coronavirus put people in lockdown for months— months without hugs between parents, children, family and friends. Now, there is a glimmer of hope amongst the dread. States are entering different re-opening stages and testing the best methods for dealing with the inevitable increase of coronavirus cases. Here are some tips on how to deal with the re-opening of your city.
Relax, it’s Not the Zombie Apocalypse
It may feel as if we are living through a zombie apocalypse but rest assured, we are not. As your city re-opens, follow the guidelines in place and enjoy your life. Coronavirus may have made many changes to our lives, but things are returning to normal slowly, but surely. These were the cards that we were dealt, and we must accept that. This is not the new normal, and it is dangerous to call it so. We don’t want people thinking that things will never go back to normal. Humans are social animals, and we crave connection. We need to interact, talk and spend time with people, which coronavirus has made next to impossible.
Embrace All That You CAN Do
All 50 states began some stage of lockdown back in March, while most of the rest of the world was locking down also. The US has been quicker to re-open and ignore social distance guidelines compared to other countries. With an increasing number of states slowing down or even stepping back their re-opening plans, what should a person expect? Case counts are still high in some areas, as are death rates. Multiple states have paused the re-opening of bars, hair salons, and gyms as cases mount.
There are substantial variations in how states have decided to open up, with some forging far ahead of others. Depending on the state you live in, you can eat inside at a restaurant, get a hair cut, go to church or the gym, which is not an option in other states. If you live in a city that has decided to re-open businesses, be grateful, but the most important thing is to be safe.
Trust That Your City Made the Right Decision
There are numerous factors for states to consider when it comes to re-opening or even taking a step back. There is immense pressure on government officials to deal with a crippling economic disaster. Many state governors are mandating the wearing of masks in public places, but are met with resistance from a small variety of groups. In places with resistance to the policies, cases are high.
Many news outlets are tracking when broad re-openings are allowed or if plans are paused or even reversed. As this is an evolving situation, states may move between categories as their conditions change. Changes could also take place if numbers grow at a national level. While governors may lift orders and allow re-opening, some local jurisdictions have stricter local orders. The New York Times list gives a better understanding of what is happening with re-opening and backtracking in the US.
Keep Calm and Be Safe
First things first, keep calm and carry on. We have made it this far and the worst is over. If you live in a state that has things under control, then that is great. If you live in a state where coronavirus is rampaging and things are backtracking, stay calm and safe. Remember the safety protocols. Wear a mask because it is proven to help stop the spread of infection. Wash your hands often and adequately.
Don’t forget the entry points for germs and viruses – eyes, nose and mouth. Don’t touch your face without washing your hands. If your state is opening up, go and get a hug from a loved one you could not see while coronavirus was at its worst. But before doing that, it is smart to get tested to reassure the safety of your family. If your state is backtracking, consider setting up a Zoom meeting with family and friends. Seek the comfort that family and friends can give you and know that we are all in this together.
Learn to Have Fun Again
It is okay to have fun and laugh during a global pandemic. Laughter is the best medicine, and we all need a good laugh right about now. Don’t be afraid or feel guilty for doing things you find fun. Get outside and be active. We need to make up for all that time we spent inside during quarantine somehow.
You may have noticed that you have lost some social skills after being isolated from the world for so long. Don’t remain isolated because you are fearful that you forgot how to socialize. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, and those social skills will come back to you faster than you think. Also, it is time to stop living in pajamas. That phase is behind us. Put on your nice clothes and go have some fun.
Try to Remain Positive
Remember, humanity has survived worse than the coronavirus. We have survived countless plagues, smallpox, measles and hundreds of other infectious diseases. It isn’t easy to get through, but we can have the upper hand in this situation by staying calm and doing what is needed of us during re-opening. Follow the advice of medical experts and the government. Think of others who are in worse situations than you. And don’t forget to be kind to strangers. It will probably make their day.
We have to learn to let go of our fears surrounding the coronavirus and attempt to move back to as normal a life as possible. This is not the new norm, and it doesn’t help to call it that. Make the most out of this temporary situation. It is an excellent sign that the U.S. is slowly re-opening, and we can see our family and friends again. Our old lives still exist and are out there waiting for us to reclaim them. To do that, we need to follow the re-opening guidelines and accept that some of them may need to get reversed.
Remember, the policies in place are no joke, and it is up to you to follow them so that the world can go back to complete normalcy as soon as possible.