Letting Go, and Holding on, as We Get Back to “Normal”

How to Pace Yourself and Manage the Shock to Your System as Restrictions Lift

Christina Tesoro, LMSW

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Photo by Javier Santos Guzmán on Unsplash

In the space of three days, my gym sent out two emails back to back. The first stated that masks were no longer mandatory; the second was a quick amendment to that, more in keeping with the rapidly flipflopping CDC recommendations: masks should be worn (apparently on some kind of honors systems) by those who aren’t vaccinated, everyone else could proceed at their own discretion.

My gym wasn’t the only place giving me something akin to emotional whiplash. In the same week, I received my usual morning email from The New York Times, which seemed to crow that we’d turned some kind of corner in the United States with regard to COVID-19. The email was awash in war metaphors: battle being waged, victory being won, the usual American rhetoric that we are loath to part with, even and especially as it regard healthcare (basically, cancer vernacular being applied to COVID-19). In the same breath, the email reported, all over the world, and specifically in the global south, the pandemic continued unabated. But things could get back to normal, at least, here!

I walk around my neighborhood, and feel uneasy. It’s almost summer, and more and more people are out on the street. Fewer and…

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Christina Tesoro, LMSW

Christina Tesoro is a New York City-based writer, sex educator, and therapist.