READ MORE: COVID-19 In West Virginia: State Reports 5 Additional Virus-Related Deaths “It’s been a banner year for stress and anxiety,” Horowitz said.
He saw a boom in business because of COVID-19 and now he’s seeing the stressors of returning to so-called “normal” show up in therapy sessions. “I’m going to go back twice a week. I’m going to see how I like it and I’ve already had clients who have done that. Some love it and for some it really does feel weird,” she said.
Hymes said this pandemic really exacerbated existing conditions and situations. Those who were lonely became more so, troubled relationships were tested further and strapped parents straddled work and childcare. People had to learn to draw lines. She’s advising returning with a hybrid model, to take things slowly. According to a survey by PwC, 75 percent of bosses expect to require their teams to physically come back to the office in some capacity by July. Most (68 percent) executives want people in the office at least three days a week whereas more than half of workers (55 percent) want to be remote at least three days a week.
“I saw a definite increase in people getting back on medication, increasing medication — a lot of insomnia, a lot of panic attacks,” said Jennifer Hymes, a licensed clinical social worker. “There’s this arc of the pandemic, where at the beginning it was all ‘how do we take it offline? How do we move home? How do we deal with that?’ and now it’s ‘how do we go in the other direction?’” Horowitz said.
“I do expect to be returning in some capacity pretty soon,” said Sean Lama, an employee for Ubisoft. READ MORE: Allegheny County Cancels Settlers Cabin Park Drive-In Movie Due To Inclement Weather
For others, triggers might be elevators, seeing crowded restaurants at lunchtime or maybe an empty chair at a desk nearby. “People are having a range of experiences and they’re going to be dealing with the emotional fallout of those experiences in different, and sometimes unpredictable ways,” Horowitz said. Lama says he’s looking forward to getting back to work with one exception. “My main concern is public transportation. Even before the pandemic I actually would catch colds all the time, I think from Caltrain, to be honest.”
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