Experts suggest that the pandemic has seriously increased low-level anxiety for some, among other issues, and it has fueled this emergence for some of FOGO or the fear of going out.
Just the thought of going out for some might now prompt a bothersome anxiety response, many are worried about contracting the virus if they go out, among other concerns.
One clinic counselor in Canada recommends that people sometimes need to think about pushing back against their fears.
The ability to cope with social situations for example, this might be negatively impacted if we don’t spend time strengthening that skill and facing that sort of situation.
Through the pandemic we have seen that the change in habits has influenced one area of life or another for many, be it social situations or driving habits.
Right now social interactions are still restricted in BC and travel, along with other activities. There are some friends and family who haven’t seen each other in a year or more, and they aren’t certain when they might meet again because of the pandemic still.
The distancing and masks might have been a comfort for some who already deal with anxiety but what if we embrace it too much and move too far in that direction of isolation? What potential negative effects might we see? Researchers are still investigating the fallout of those lock downs and the impact that the pandemic has had in one area or another, all over the world. They will be studying it for years to come.
It might have been easy for some to connect still on Zoom and through other online means, but not everyone was able to or had the knowledge to be able to make that virtual shift. The senior community around the world has especially been impacted throughout all of this.
Their life changed drastically when COVID-19 came and the sudden changes meant that many would suffer in isolation for months.
With community centers and recreation centers etc being closed around BC and elsewhere it meant that those seniors weren’t able to meet their friends and connect with their community as usual.
Malls were closed and other places and activities restricted, and that left many seniors vulnerable to loneliness and worse.
Millions had to make that shift to working online and so many have enjoyed the experience that now many are wanting to keep it that way and will even leave their job and look for something else if they’re forced to go back to the office.
People overwhelmingly today, including many Canadians want more flexibility and that freedom to be able to work from home, to work in a way that works for them while still providing that productivity.
For those going through that FOGO they are feeling negative about what things might feel like after the pandemic and falling back into that old routine.
With all the uncertainty that still exists as we tackle COVID-19 today, it is no surprise that it might cause an uneasy feeling for some, though there are still many who are eager and ready to get back to normal yesterday.
It might not be as difficult as it is for some than others to get back into going out and engaging in social events and situations again, without masks and without social distancing. We aren’t sure when we might see that sort of environment though, it could still be a long time away from now.
As far as that FOGO goes, psychologists say that you can sometimes take a more active role in getting ready. This means taking steps to prepare yourself for getting back into a more socially engaged environment and society, choosing the risk you are willing to accept, among other potential tools that can be used.
Right now travel is still restricted in BC because of the travel ban and so that means people are encouraged to stay in their own communities. Individuals in BC cannot travel as they normally would during May to areas that are outside of their regional health authority communities.
As the weather gets warmer we can expect to see more people getting out to enjoy it and falling into more social routines.
Even during the pandemic we have seen various gender reveal parties and other gatherings going on recently too, showing that people haven’t been afraid to still get together.
There are places that aren’t that far away from British Columbia that are taking away those restrictions slowly and who knows when BC might do the same.
For now we are still dealing with many COVID-19 cases daily in BC and for that reason we’ve got the travel restrictions and other pandemic restrictions in place.
A New Normal This Summer?
Last year it seemed many Canadians were worried about hosting summer gatherings but this summer looks a lot different, especially since it is expected to be a record breaking camping year. Other events were also expected to be coming back that were likely going to draw big summer crowds like the Richmond Night Market 2021, Playland, and others.
Reservations have already started being made for camping for this season but things might change if those travel restrictions stay in place which for now are only until the May long weekend.
For now we have been told that this is what we need to do, the small sacrifice we need to make, in order to have a more normal rest of the year.
Optimism with Canadians right now over the potential for a normal summer is dropping, with those restrictions that were recently extended and others that had been announced.
Not many Canadians are confident these days that the problem will be under control by the summer of this year.
Studies have shown that Americans are dealing with the same issue, the FOGO and fear of going out after all of this is over.
Investigations found that two out of three Americans that were polled last year on the question had indicated that they were uncomfortable about returning to the regular workplace for a variety of reasons. Many were facing that fear of going back and going out.
After months in lock down and facing those restrictions however, maybe it has been enough for some and they are ready for something different, after being bored at home.
This doesn’t mean that the FOGO won’t be real for some though as there might be some individuals who have a more difficult time dealing with the idea of getting back to normal and engaging socially again.
Right now it looks like we might only be months away from getting more of a chance to go out. That optimism isn’t very prevalent though, not according to recent polls, and things could take a turn in another direction.
The restrictions were supposed to be until May long weekend but that might be extended and it isn’t clear what the reopening plans are as far as the border and international travel getting back to normal too. Individuals in BC and around Canada could still be waiting awhile to get there.