Transcript: Reopening Anxiety: Transitioning to Normal | Jun 14, 2021

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and checked blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Reopening anxiety: Transitioning to normal. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says ONTARIANS FLOCKED TO PATIOS AND RETAIL AND ALL THAT RE-OPENED ON FRIDAY WITH GUSTO. BUT NOT EVERYONE IS EQUALLY ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT GETTING OUT AND ABOUT AGAIN. AFTER MORE THAN A YEAR OF LOCKDOWNS, ANXIETY REMAINS AMONG SOME ABOUT WHAT TOMORROW... AND THE SUMMER... COULD BRING. WITH US FOR MORE: IN WINNIPEG, MANITOBA: DAVID DOZOIS, PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY AT WESTERN UNIVERSITY AND A MEMBER OF THE ONTARIO SCIENCE TABLE'S MENTAL HEALTH WORKING GROUP...

David is in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short curly gray hair. He's wearing a black suit, white shirt and checkered blue tie.

Steve continues AND HERE IN THE MARKLAND WOOD NEIGHBOURHOOD OF ONTARIO'S CAPITAL CITY (THAT'S BASICALLY THE CENTRE OF ETOBICOKE): LAURA DESVEAUX, BEHAVIOURAL SCIENTIST AND SCIENCE LEAD AT TRILLIUM HEALTH PARTNERS, AND A MEMBER OF ONTARIO'S SCIENCE ADVISORY TABLE...

Laura is in her thirties, with long straight brown hair in a ponytail. She's wearing a white blouse.

Steve continues IT'S GREAT TO WELCOME YOU TWO TO TVO TONIGHT. WE WANT TO JUST PUT SOME STATS UP BEFORE WE GET INTO OUR CONVERSATION HERE. SO I'LL ASK OUR DIRECTOR, SHELDON OSMOND, IF HE WOULD, TO BRING THOSE UP. HERE WE GO. THIS IS LEGER DOING POLLING AROUND CoVID SAFETY MEASURES BEING LIFTED AND A SNAPSHOT OF HOW ONTARIANS WERE FEELING THREE WEEKS AGO ABOUT THE PHASE WE'VE NOW ENTERED.

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Not yet ready for normal. How Ontarians are feeling."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
54 percent ANXIOUS ABOUT GOING BACK TO HOW THINGS WERE BEFORE THE PANDEMIC. 29 percent THINK SAFETY MEASURES ARE BEING LIFTED TOO QUICKLY. THREE IN TEN. AND 54 percent, A MAJORITY, STILL AFRAID OF CONTRACTING COVID-19. OKAY. DAVID DOZOIS, TO YOU FIRST. HOW DOES THAT COMPARE TO OTHER POLLING, OTHER OPINIONS YOU SEE IN THE REST OF THE COUNTRY?

The caption changes to David Dozois. Western University."
Then, it changes again to "Mental health check."

David says YEAH, I THINK IT'S PRETTY CONSISTENT, REALLY. WHAT WE HAVE FOUND IS ONE POLL FROM THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION THAT LOOKED AT STRESS IN AMERICA AND LOOKED AT THE KIND OF RETURNING POST-PANDEMIC, FOUND ABOUT 50 percent OF PEOPLE WERE PRETTY ANXIOUS OR CONCERNED ABOUT RETURNING TO WORK. I'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN SOME POLLING WITH A GROUP CALLED MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH CANADA, WHICH HAS BEEN DOING NOW SIX POLLS ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN BOTH LANGUAGES TO TRY TO GET A SENSE OF HOW PEOPLE ARE ADAPTING TO CoVID AND HOW THAT'S AFFECTING MENTAL HEALTH, AND WE HAVE FOUND THAT A GOOD NUMBER OF PEOPLE ARE... ABOUT A THIRD OF PEOPLE ARE SORT OF ANXIOUS ABOUT THE POST-PANDEMIC RETURN, INCLUDING ABOUT... WELL, 71 percent OF PEOPLE IN TOTAL ARE ANXIOUS ABOUT CoVID CONTINUING. ABOUT 22 percent WITH THAT BEING EXTREMELY HIGH.

Steve says LET ME DO A QUICK FOLLOW-UP WITH YOU ON THAT, DAVID.

David says SURE.

Steve says IS THERE A PARTICULAR DEMOGRAPHIC, A PARTICULAR TYPE OF PERSON, WHO IS MORE ANXIOUS AS OPPOSED TO LESS?

David says WELL, I THINK OUR POLL RESULTS ARE CONSISTENT WITH WHAT YOU'D FIND IN GENERAL IN EPIDEMIOLOGY. GENERALLY IT'S PEOPLE 18 TO 34 YEARS OLD. IT'S SORT OF THE YOUNGER GROUP. IT'S FEMALES MORE THAN MALES. THAT'S PRETTY CONSISTENT WITH WHAT WE FIND WITH ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION GENERALLY.

Steve says LAURA, WHAT'S AT THE ROOT OF ALL THIS?

The caption changes to "Laura Desveaux. Trillium Health Partners."

Laura says IT'S SUCH A GREAT QUESTION AND I WISH I COULD GIVE YOU AN ANSWER THAT SOUNDED LIKE A ONE SIZE FITS ALL. THE REALITY IS, THAT'S NOT THE CASE. I THINK IT BOILS DOWN TO A COUPLE OF THINGS: ONE, UNCERTAINTY. SO WHEN WE THINK ABOUT RETURNING TO NORMAL LIFE, WHATEVER THAT LOOKS LIKE, THERE'S UNCERTAINTY AROUND WHAT WE WANT THAT TO BE AND WHAT IT WILL LOOK LIKE WHEN WE TRY TO DO IT. AND THEN THE SECOND BIG POINT IS JUST UNCERTAINTY AROUND, HOW DO I KEEP MYSELF SAFE? BECAUSE AS WE THINK ABOUT RETURNING TO NORMAL, THE REALITY IS, THINGS AREN'T NORMAL YET. IT'S A JOURNEY TO GET THERE. AND PEOPLE JUST WANT TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO KEEP THEMSELVES SAFE AS THEY START TO REINTEGRATE.

Steve says I DON'T WANT TO... AGAIN, LIKE YOU, I DON'T WANT TO OVERSIMPLIFY THIS, LAURA. IS IT POSSIBLE WE'VE BEEN UNDER LOCKDOWN FOR SO LONG, PEOPLE FORGET WHAT NORMAL IS?

The caption changes to "Laura Desveaux. Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table."

Laura says 100 PERCENT. YOU KNOW, I'M SURE THAT SOME OF YOUR LISTENERS WILL RELATE THAT I HAVE BEEN ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE AT TIMES. SO THE WORLD JUST OPENED UP. AS A SCIENTIST, I WAS THRILLED TO SEE PEOPLE OUTSIDE. IT'S SAFER TO BE THERE. BUT AS AN INDIVIDUAL, I THOUGHT TO MYSELF: HOW DO I ENGAGE IN SMALLTALK IF I SEE SOMEONE I KNOW? WHAT ARE ALL THOSE HABITS AND ROUTINES OF NORMAL LIFE LOOK LIKE? IT REALLY COMES BACK TO THE FACT THAT HABITS THEMSELVES ARE LARGELY AUTOMATIC. WE DON'T THINK ABOUT THEM. AND WE HAVEN'T HAD A CHANCE TO DO THEM IN A YEAR AND A HALF. SO EVEN FOR YOURSELF RETURNING TO THE STUDIO, YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED THAT YOU CONSCIOUSLY HAVE TO THINK THROUGH THINGS BECAUSE YOU'RE LEARNING TO RIDE THAT BICYCLE AGAIN.

Steve says I WASN'T GOING TO MENTION IT, BUT SINCE YOU DID, YOU'RE 110 percent RIGHT. THIS IS OUR FIRST TIME BACK IN THE STUDIO HERE, CAMERON BEHIND THE STUDIO, SHELDON IN THE STUDIO. I CONFESS PUTTING MY BUM IN THE CHAIR FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME, DO I REMEMBER HOW TO READ THE TELEPROMPTER, LIGHTS, CAMERAS. I GET YOU IS WHAT I'M TRYING TO SAY. LET ME READ THIS FROM A PSYCHIATRIST DOWN IN FLORIDA AND HE STARTED USING THIS PHRASE CAVE SYNDROME TO DESCRIBE SOME PEOPLE'S DESIRE TO STAY AT HOME. LET ME READ THIS AND THEN WE'LL COME OUT OF IT WITH A QUESTION.

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Held hostage by COVID-19." The quote reads "Caveman syndrome occurs when people become attached to this COVID-19 situation. Not attached to the virus itself of course but attached to the home, the anxiety of uncertainty, and its effects on our daily lives.
The way extroverts develop this disorder is actually similar to another psychological phenomenon known as Stockholm syndrome. With Stockholm syndrome a hostage might start to feel a sort of rapport for the hostage takers. They begin to identify with their captors and rely on them for comfort. The home, and the familiar fear of uncertainty, start to become a dysfunctional habit of life.
Only in our current situation, identification with the aggressor means identification with our homes and even the pandemic itself."
Quoted from Doctor Arthur Bregman, LinkedIn. March 16, 2021.

Steve says OKAY, DAVID. THIS ANALOGY THAT WE KIND OF PREFER TO STAY IN OUR CAVES OR WE FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE IN OUR CAVES, MAKE SENSE TO YOU?

The caption changes to "David Dozois, @Dozois_Mood_Lab."

David says WELL, TO SOME DEGREE IT DOES, FOR SURE. I THINK AVOIDANCE IS ALWAYS EASIER FOR US, AND CHANGE IS VERY DIFFICULT FOR ALL HUMANS. ALTHOUGH HUMANS ADAPT VERY WELL AND VERY QUICKLY, THE EASIEST THING TO DO WHEN YOU'RE ANXIOUS IS TO AVOID. BECAUSE THE MOMENT YOU AVOID, YOU KNOW, YOUR ANXIETY IMMEDIATELY GOES DOWN. IF I HAD A FEAR OF DOGS AND I SAW A DOG AND JUST QUICKLY KIND OF CROSSED THE STREET, MY ANXIETY ABOUT DOGS WOULD GO DOWN. I WOULDN'T BE ANXIOUS ABOUT THAT DOG ANYMORE. BUT THE PROBLEM, OF COURSE, WITH AVOIDANCE, IS LIKE IT'S FUEL TO A FIRE. IT JUST MAKES ANXIETY WORSE IN THE LONG RUN. SO THIS NOTION OF CAVEPERSON SYNDROME, I SUPPOSE, YOU KNOW, IT'S INTERESTING. I THINK IT'S A BIT OF A STRETCH. I DON'T THINK PEOPLE... I WOULDN'T KIND OF LINK IT TO STOCKHOLM SYNDROME MYSELF. I THINK THAT SORT OF UNDERMINES WHAT STOCKHOLM SYNDROME IS ABOUT. NONETHELESS, I THINK THERE ARE A LARGE PROPORTION OF PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY THOSE WITH CERTAIN TYPES OF ANXIETY PROBLEMS, WHO WILL FIND STAYING HOME EASIER AND READJUSTING GOING BACK TO REOPENING A LOT MORE DIFFICULT.

Steve says WELL, OKAY. LAURA, LET ME TRY THIS THEN. HOW MUCH OF THIS MIGHT BE RELATED TO THE FACT THAT WE'VE BEEN IN... IT'S A TERRIBLE EXPRESSION, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. WE'VE BEEN UNDER HOUSE ARREST FOR MANY MONTHS AND WE GET OUT FOR A WHILE, AND WE'RE BACK UNDER HOUSE ARREST AND WE'RE OUT FOR A LITTLE WHILE. SOME OF THE MESSAGING... PRESENT COMPANY EXCLUDED OF COURSE... SOME OF THE MESSAGING HASN'T BEEN CLEAR, SOME HAS BEEN CONFUSING, PEOPLE HAVE MULTIPLE SOURCES FROM WHICH THEY'RE GETTING THEIR INFORMATION. DOES ALL THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THIS?

The caption changes to "Laura Desveaux, @lauradesveaux."

Laura says IT DEFINITELY CONTRIBUTES TO IT. SO AS SOMEONE WHO STUDIES HOW PEOPLE BEHAVE AND WHY THEY BEHAVE THAT WAY, WE CAN BREAK IT DOWN INTO THREE COMPONENTS. IT'S OUR CAPABILITY, WHICH INCLUDES OUR PHYSICAL ABILITY TO DO SOMETHING, BUT ALSO OUR ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND. AND THAT'S BEEN A HUGE CHALLENGE FOR TWO REASONS: ONE, BECAUSE THERE'S MULTIPLE STREAMS OF COMMUNICATION FROM DIFFERENT SOURCES, AS YOU'VE POINTED OUT. BUT, TWO, CoVID IS STILL NEW. WE DIDN'T COME INTO THIS PANDEMIC WITH A WEALTH OF INFORMATION, SO PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO LEARN AS THEY GO. THE OTHER TWO CONSTRUCTS ARE OPPORTUNITY AND MOTIVATION. AND AS YOU'VE ALSO ALLUDED TO, WITH BEING UNDER HOUSE ARREST, THERE HASN'T REALLY BEEN MUCH OPPORTUNITY TO DO ANYTHING. AND SO IT REALLY CHANGES THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT THINGS WHEN THAT CIRCUMSTANCE CHANGES AND THERE IS OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. A THOUGHT THAT I THINK MIGHT BE HELPFUL FOR SOME PEOPLE TO REFLECT ON IS, WHEN YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT YOUR ANXIETY NOW AS THINGS REOPEN, TRY TO THINK BACK TO WAVE ONE, WHEN WE WERE INITIALLY PUT UNDER LOCKDOWN AND THERE WERE QUITE A FEW PEOPLE WHO 4 A HARD TIME ADJUSTING TO THAT BECAUSE IT WAS A TRANSITION. THERE WAS THE THOUGHT THAT, YOU KNOW, THIS WILL JUST BE QUICK. WE'LL HAVE 2020 BACK IN SUMMER, WHICH WE ALL KNOW IN HINDSIGHT WAS NOT THE CASE, AND AGAIN, IT'S JUST THOSE TRANSITIONS AND THOSE MASSIVE SHIFTS THAT ARE ANXIETY-PRODUCING NO MATTER WHAT DIRECTION THEY'RE GOING IN. SO WE JUST NEED TO GIVE OURSELVES GRACE TO SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING AND THEN BECOME COMFORTABLE WITH WHAT'S POSSIBLE BECAUSE THE REALITY IS THAT WE OFTEN GET OUR CUES FROM WHAT WE SEE OTHER PEOPLE DOING, AND WE HAVEN'T SEEN OTHER PEOPLE FOR THE LARGE PART OF THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF.

Steve says WELL, IN WHICH CASE, DAVID, TALK TO US ABOUT HOW THIS ADJUSTMENT IS GOING TO WORK. BECAUSE THERE ARE PEOPLE, AS WE'VE INDICATED, WHO HAVE NOT BEEN INTO THE OFFICE IN MANY, MANY MONTHS. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE NOT EATEN IN A RESTAURANT IN MANY, MANY MONTHS. THERE ARE SINGLE PEOPLE WHO I PRESUME HAVE NOT DATED IN MANY, MANY MONTHS. AND I GUESS HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO DO ALL THAT ALL OVER AGAIN. IS THAT BASICALLY WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT?

The caption changes to "Coping strategies."

David says WELL, I THINK TO SOME DEGREE. AS LAURA SAID, I THINK PEOPLE ADAPT VERY QUICKLY, AND I THINK ABOUT HOW QUICKLY WE ADAPTED TO HAVING TO WEAR MASKS AND WALK UP... FOLLOW THE ARROWS AT A GROCERY STORE AND MAKE SURE WE'RE PHYSICALLY DISTANCING AND SANITIZING AND SO ON. WE ADAPTED TO THAT VERY QUICKLY. I'M SURE WE WILL ADAPT VERY QUICKLY TO, YOU KNOW, REOPENING AND GOING BACK TO LIFE AS NORMAL. FOR SOME PEOPLE I THINK THAT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT. FOR EXAMPLE, PEOPLE WITH SOCIAL ANXIETY, YOU KNOW, IT'S BEEN... THAT AVOIDANCE IN SOME WAYS AND THE LOCKDOWN HAS SORT OF HELPED ANXIETY IN THE SHORT TERM FOR THEM BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT HAVING TO INTERACT AS MUCH. STARTING TO REINTRODUCE YOURSELF INTO SOCIETY AGAIN IS GOING TO BE DIFFICULT. I THINK THE SAME WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE WHAT WE CALL AGORE PHOBIA, WHO HAVE BEEN KIND OF SHUT IN MORE AND AVOID BECAUSE OF FEAR OF HAVING A PANIC ATTACK. THE SAME KIND OF THING. TRYING TO GET OUT IS GOING TO BE DIFFICULT FOR THEM. AND REALLY I THINK IT WILL BE DIFFICULT FOR MANY OF US BECAUSE, AS YOU SAID, WE HAVEN'T DONE THESE THINGS FOR QUITE SOME TIME. WE NEED TO KIND OF REINTRODUCE THEM INTO OUR LIVES. BUT I THINK BIT BY BIT WE WILL ADAPT AND WE'LL GET THERE. I THINK, AS LAURA SAID, GETTING BACK ON THE BIKE AND DOING THAT AGAIN IS I THINK WHAT WE'LL DO AND WE'LL REMEMBER THOSE THINGS THAT WE... WE'LL REMEMBER THE ETIQUETTE, WE'LL REMEMBER THE WATER COOLER TALKS AND HOW WE DO THAT. IT WILL BE A BIT AWKWARD AT FIRST, BUT ANXIETY IS KIND OF A NORMAL RESPONSE TO THINGS THAT ARE UNCERTAIN.

Steve says LET ME PICK UP ON THAT ASPECT WITH LAURA, AND THAT IS, I CAN IMAGINE THAT MOST OF US, NOT OUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY, BUT EVERYBODY ELSE IN OUR LIVES, WE HAVE BEEN TALKING TO OVERWHELMINGLY IN THE PAST 15 MONTHS ON SCREENS. AND I HAVE PERSONALLY FOUND THAT WHEN TRYING TO TALK... NOW THAT WE'RE ALLOWED OUT AND, YOU KNOW, I DID SEE SOME PEOPLE ON THE WEEKEND, I AM FORCING MYSELF TO REMIND MYSELF TO LOOK AT PEOPLE IN THE EYE WHEN I TALK TO THEM BECAUSE THAT'S A SKILL I'VE SORT OF FORGOTTEN HOW TO DO, ONLY LOOKING AT SCREENS FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS. IS THAT WEIRD?

Laura says I MEAN, NOT AT ALL AND IT'S SUCH A PERFECT EXAMPLE FOR YOU TO BRING UP. BECAUSE AS I SIT HERE DOING THIS INTERVIEW, I KEEP WANTING TO LOOK AT YOU, WHICH WOULD MEAN I'M NOT LOOKING AT THE CAMERA. SO CLEARLY HABIT FORMATION IS A CHALLENGE FOR ANYONE. AND WHAT I LOVE ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE GETTING AT THERE IS REALLY ACTUALLY A SORT OF TIP OR COPING STRATEGY THAT PEOPLE CAN PUT INTO THEIR POCKET AROUND BUILDING HABITS, WHETHER THEY BE NEW HABITS OR SORT OF BRUSHING UP ON EXISTING HABITS, AND THAT'S THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN HOW WE THINK ABOUT HABIT INITIATION VERSUS HABIT EXECUTION. SO HOW DO WE START A HABIT VERSUS HOW DO WE ACTUALLY CARRY OUT THE ACTIVITY. REALLY, IF PEOPLE THINK ABOUT IT, YOU JUST NEED THE CUE FOR PERFORMING THAT BEHAVIOUR OR HABIT. STEVE, YOU POINTED OUT TOO, IF I SEE PEOPLE, I LOOK THEM IN THE EYE. AND SO I WOULD ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO BE LESS CONCERNED ABOUT, WHAT DOES THIS ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE ONCE I GET INTO IT, AND JUST PICK SOMETHING THAT WILL REMIND YOU TO DO IT. AND DON'T REALLY WORRY IF IT PLAYS OUT DIFFERENTLY IN DIFFERENT SCENARIOS. TRUST THAT YOU'LL GET BACK TO IT. BUT ALL YOU NEED TO SORT OF SHORT-CIRCUIT THAT HABIT FORMATION IS PUT A CUE IN PLACE FOR YOU, WHETHER THAT'S EVERY TIME I'M OUTSIDE, I'M GOING TO LOOK PEOPLE STRAIGHT IN THE EYE. OR EVERY TIME I START A CONVERSATION, I'M GOING TO ASK PEOPLE ABOUT A TOPIC THAT INTERESTS ME. AND THE REST WILL COME NATURALLY. YOU JUST NEED THAT LITTLE BIT OF AN ICEBREAKER OR COGNITIVE HACK, FOR LACK OF A BETTER WORD, TO GET OVER THE HUMP OF DOING THOSE THINGS THAT WE JUST HAVEN'T DONE.

Steve says OKAY. THAT'S A GOOD THING TO HAVE ON THE TO-DO LIST. HOW ABOUT ON THE, DAVID, NOT TO DO LIST. ANY SUGGESTIONS THERE?

David says WELL, I THINK, YOU KNOW, DON'T AVOID AVOIDING. THE PROBLEM IS OFTEN, YOU KNOW, WE CAN GET INTO AN AVOIDANCE. SO I WOULD SAY, IN TERMS OF A ANOT TO DO LIST, MAKE SURE YOU DON'T COVER AWAY, STAY AT HOME. PUSH YOURSELF TO GET OUT. WE KNOW, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT EXPOSURE IS THE TREATMENT OF CHOICE FOR ANY ANXIETY PROBLEM. EXPOSURE IS REALLY BASICALLY FACING YOUR FEARS. WHEN WE DO THAT, WE HABITUATE TO OUR FEARS, WE GET USED TO IT, AND BIT BY BIT, THINGS GET BETTER FOR US. SO A REAL KEY IS FOR US TO REMEMBER, BIT BY BIT, APPROACH WHAT WE HAVE AVOIDED AND WHAT WE'RE ANXIOUS ABOUT. AND BY DOING THAT, OUR ANXIETY WILL GO DOWN AND WE'LL START TO ADAPT QUITE WELL. I THINK WHAT HAPPENS OFTEN IS PEOPLE WITH ANXIETY, THEY OVERPREDICT RISK AND THEY UNDERPREDICT THEIR RESOURCES FOR COPING WITH IT. AND SO... IF THE RISK OR THE THREAT IS PERCEIVED TO BE VERY HIGH AND MY ABILITY TO COPE IS KIND OF SUB-PAR, SO I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO KIND OF BALANCE THAT OUT AND LOOK AT THINGS WITH EVIDENCE. TRY TO ENSURE THAT YOU'RE NOT JUST, YOU KNOW, FOCUSING ON YOUR EMOTIONS FOR DEALING WITH THINGS. IT'S SO EASY TO BE EMOTIONAL REASONERS. I THINK ABOUT THE STOCK MARKET AND HOW PEOPLE LOOK AT THAT AND INVEST. OFTEN IT'S WITH EMOTIONS. IT'S NOT WITH LOGIC. AND SO REALLY IT'S IMPORTANT TO THINK ABOUT EVIDENCE AND REALLY KIND OF THINK THROUGH, WHAT IS THE REAL RISK? AND MAKE SURE YOU DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN PROBABILITY AND POSSIBILITY. IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THINGS MIGHT HAPPEN NEGATIVELY OR THAT I MIGHT GET COVID OR I PASS IT ONTO A FAMILY MEMBER? IT IS POSSIBLE. BUT WHAT'S THE PROBABLE? AND IF I'M TAKING THE RIGHT PRECAUTIONS THAT THE PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY AND OTHER LOCAL, YOU KNOW, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ARE TELLING US TO DO AND PUTTING THAT IN BALANCE AND TRYING TO SEE THE RISK FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS.

Steve says LAURA, LET'S JUST FINISH UP ON THIS. IS THIS THE KIND OF ISSUE THAT MOST PEOPLE, THROUGH AWARENESS AND SELF-REGULATION, CAN CORRECT THEMSELVES? OR DO YOU THINK THERE'S A CHUNK OF PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO NEED SOME... YOU KNOW, MAYBE SOME PSYCHIATRIC HELP TO GET THROUGH THIS?

The caption changes to "Moving forward."

Laura says I WOULD DEFER TO DAVID AROUND THE QUESTION FOR NEEDING PSYCHIATRIC HELP BECAUSE MY AREA OF FOCUS IS ACTUALLY WHAT PEOPLE CHOOSE TO DO AND SO USING THAT AS A STARTING POINT WHAT I WOULD SAY TO PEOPLE IS TO ASK THEMSELVES.IS THIS SOMETHING I WANT TO DO? DO I WANT TO GET TO A PLACE WHERE I AM ENGAGING WITH THE PEOPLE I CHOOSE TO ENGAGE WITH SOCIALLY. AND IF YOU ANSWER YES TO THAT QUESTION? THEN THE QUESTION REALLY BECOMES WELL HOW? AND THAT HOW CAN BE BABY STEPS. YOU CAN THINK ABOUT THE SORT OF SEQUENCE FROM (A TO G) OF HOW YOU GET THERE BUT IT REALLY JUST BECOMES TAKING STEPS YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH AND WHEN THAT ANXIETY IS ROOTED IN A PLACE OF CONCERN AND UNCERTAINTY AROUND CoVID, THANKFULLY WE ARE VERY CONFIDENT NOW AND AWARE OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES WE CAN PUT IN PLACE TO STAY SAFE. AND SO IF THAT'S YOUR CONCERN, YOU CAN CONTINUE TO WEAR A MASK AND CONTINUE TO STAY DISTANT. AND THAT REALITY I HOPE IS EMPOWERING FOR PEOPLE. BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH WITHIN YOUR CONTROL AND SO MUCH MORE KNOWLEDGE WE HAVE THAT, AGAIN, I THINK THE QUESTION FOR MOST PEOPLE IS NOT WHETHER THEY WANT TO DO THESE THINGS, IT'S JUST HOW THEY WANT TO MAKE THEIR REINTRODUCTION INTO LIFE POST-LOCKDOWN.

Steve says YEAH. I MEAN, IT IS A FRESH START IN SOME RESPECTS, ISN'T IT, LAURA?

Laura says IT'S 100 PERCENT A FRESH START. FOR THOSE... TO THOSE THAT AREN'T FAMILIAR WITH THE CONCEPT. A FRESH START JUST BOILS DOWN TO SHIFTING PERSPECTIVE OR CIRCUMSTANCE, AND ARGUABLY WHAT I REALLY WOULD LOVE TO STUDY AT SOME POINT IS WHETHER CoVID ACTUALLY PRESENTS THE MOST UNIVERSAL FRESH START WE'VE EVER HAD. AND BRINGING IT BACK TO THINGS PEOPLE CAN RELATE TO, FRESH STARTS ARE THINGS LIKE NEW YEAR'S DAY, YOUR 40TH BIRTHDAY, MOVING TO A NEW HOUSE. THEY'RE ANYTHING THAT SORT OF SHIFTS YOUR INDIVIDUAL PERSPECTIVE OR CIRCUMSTANCE. AND IT PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO ACTUALLY FOLLOW THROUGH MORE ON WHAT WE INTEND TO DO BECAUSE HUMANS THINK ABOUT THEIR LIVES IN TERMS OF CHAPTERS OR SEGMENTS. PEOPLE WILL DEFINE THOSE CHAPTERS AND SEGMENTS IN DIFFERENT WAYS. BUT, AGAIN, AS WE REOPEN, HOPEFULLY FOR THE LAST TIME, IT REALLY IS A CHAPTER THAT EVERYONE HAS BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO FOR THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF. AND I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT PEOPLE DO WITH IT.

The caption changes to "Producer: Patricia Kozicka, @TrishKozicka."

Steve says AMEN TO THAT. LAURA DESVEAUX, DAVID DOZOIS, GREAT TO HAVE YOU ON "THE AGENDA" TONIGHT. THANKS SO MUCH TO BOTH OF YOU.

David says THANKS FOR HAVING US.

Laura says THANK YOU.

Watch: Reopening Anxiety: Transitioning to Normal