Easing anxiety while coronavirus cases surge and re-closures loom

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Posted at 8:17 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 02:21:30-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - As re-closures loom in San Diego County, anxiety is building.

Licensed Psychologist Dr. Michelle Carcel said she and other colleagues noticed higher anxiety and depression among those who are isolating.

"Then there's the reality of, 'okay the cases are surging and things are starting to shut down again,' so there is that isolation anxiety," Dr. Carcel said, explaining we are pack animals and can feel in danger if alone for extended periods of time.

She said on the flip side, some are feeling a sense of comfort in a new routine that's taking root, as we enter the fourth month of the pandemic.

The possibility of all indoor activities getting shut down Monday threatens that new normal many have created.

Dr. Carcel said there are still options to get together, "we can get creative with this. There's hiking outdoors, there's biking we can do. All of that within the context of social distancing."

Another anxiety is the job market. While unemployment is down for the sixth straight week, SANDAG said 200,000 San Diegans are still out of work.

Dr. Carcel acknowledges these times are hard but it is important to have hope. "We're just constantly thinking in absolutes, 'Oh it will never reopen. It will never get better,' that is a very bad way to think, we actually want to think about this being temporary because it will be."

She impressed the importance of vaccines being developed at light speed and suggested those who are anxious about the re-closures should create a game plan.

"We talk about a cope ahead plan on specific things we can do in lieu of things we are currently enjoying if things shut down again so that we're not disappointed," Dr. Carcel said.

She reminded us this is temporary, and we will make it through.