The New Normal…    by    Rory Andes

A few years ago, I met a guy named James who was formerly incarcerated, but now works for the Washington Dept of Corrections as a reentry specialist. He is a wealth of knowledge on the impact of reintegrating into society by those who have been isolated from it. One of his experiences is one where he was in line at the grocery store within days of his release and his feelings of overwhelming anxiety and panic as people crowded around him. Fortunately for him, his brother was in tune with what was happening, pulled his jacket hood over his face (to diffuse the stimulus), and escorted him to the exit. The trauma from James’ incarceration was real and relevant. His new normal said that people in large numbers were a threat to become anxious and fearful over. Welcome to life after a COVID-19 pandemic…

I watched the news this morning and John Taffer, host of the show Bar Rescue, stated some of the same sentiments. He said that after all of the emergent situations are under control and treatments have been part of the reintegration of society, bars and restaurants will culturally be reduced by 30% of their former patrons. It will change seating in these establishments. People won’t want to be in crowds because of fears and anxieties that come with large numbers of people. And their traumas will be real and relevant.

Perhaps it might be a good idea for the powers that be to consult America’s prior incarcerated to figure out how to manage the fears and anxieties of the American public after isolation. There is a wealth of knowledge to be had and it’s another shining example that regardless of how condemned those like me are, we are all still human and still very much the same. My heart goes out to the world while you are experiencing this crisis, the fears, the anxieties and the “New Normal” that will follow. We understand…

by Rory Andes

Adaptation is a must. Be resilient…

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