MILWAUKEE - Many people thought that the coronavirus pandemic was on the way out until the delta variant showed up. Now that the CDC has reinstated, to a point, the mask mandate, many are finding pandemic anxiety returning.
A psychologist at UW Health said we’ve been through this before, and we can do it again.
"Many people felt like COVID was over," said Dr. Shilagh Mirgain. "We have the vaccine. Vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks indoors."
This was supposed to be a full return to normal.
"Only to find that there’s the new delta variant that, as of May 13, was only 1% of cases and has gone up to now accounting for 83% of cases," said Mirgain.
The coronavirus delta variant changed things.
"But then research shows that after that honeymoon phase, we actually go into a disillusionment phase that can last up to a year, and that’s where we’re at," said Mirgain. "The CDC coming out this week with new recommendations that vaccinated people in places of high transmission are encouraged to wear masks, so we realize that the pandemic is far from over."
Mirgain said if this is causing you to have pandemic anxiety again, you are not alone.
"Figuring out, how do I cope with this in terms of my mental health, my physical health, my overall well-being so I don’t feel like I’m losing another year and a half of my life to the pandemic," said Mirgain.
Fortunately, she said we’ve been through the worst of this.
"Is to develop this tolerance for uncertainty," said Mirgain. "Each month it feels like a new normal, a new change because science is evolving. This is a new virus."
If you’ve done it once, you can do it again.
"We’re heading into the colder months here in Wisconsin," said Mirgain. "It’s so important to continue to prioritize our well-being, our physical and emotional well-being."