As regions reopen, facing the new reality is the next challenge

Since March when the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns began, many people have been looking forward to the time when restrictions would be lifted. That time is now in some regions, and almost in New York City. But the question is: Are we really ready for it?

In a matter of weeks and under the threat of a deadly, highly contagious disease, we all had to adapt to circumstances beyond our control. Plus there were drastic changes to our daily routines, and in many cases, the loss of loved ones. Now we have a new challenge, according to Dr. Robin Smith.

"I think part of what we're seeing right now is that people are resisting what these changes have been because they're terrified but they're also grief-stricken," Smith, a psychologist, told FOX 5 NY. She said it is important to express these feelings in a safe way.

Just because more businesses are reopening and streets and parks are more crowded, it doesn't mean things will ever go back to the way they were.

"Part of reopening is that we have to ask, is reopening to what? And what are we reopening to?" Smith said. "This gradual reopening you see some people rushing, they want to rush back to that old moment, but part of the journey is to realize is that old moment has gone."

Another concern with the first phase of reopening is that people may forget the virus is still a threat. Safety must remain a top priority, according to Dr. Rabia De Latour, an assistant professor at NYU Langone Health.

"My biggest concern is people becoming too lax and not taking seriously how vicious this virus is," De Latour said. "There are so many manifestations of this virus alone."

With more people out and about, it is even more important to wear a mask in public and wash your hands often, she said. Reopening doesn't mean the danger of contagion has gone away.


Get breaking news alerts in the FOX5NY News app. It's FREE!

Download for iOS or Android