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COVID-19 and Venturing Out of Our Personal Fortress

‘Don’t stand, don’t stand so, don’t stand so close to me...’Last week, the local supermarket in the town of Kaitaia in the Far North, New Zealand, decided to liven up its anti- Covid message by playing the 1980s hit song by The Police on a never-ending loop to its customers, as we all gingerly wheeled our trolleys up and down the aisles.

As I was bending over the Granola selection and puzzling over which one of the twenty or so products I might choose, Sting’s voice penetrated my consciousness. I sprung away from the woman I was in danger of crowding. We are all getting used to the ‘New Normal’.

We are also all in Fortress NZ. It makes sense: keep out the virus until there is a vaccine. Some of us would like to open up the national border earlier than others. I felt chastened when I heard that the two Covid cases coming into NZ yesterday were from the U.K.

Thinking about this as a psychotherapist, I wonder how we all feel venturing out of our personal fortresses into the ‘New Normal’? Are we experiencing anxiety, stress and uncertainty? Or excitement and goodwill towards our fellow beings? Or perhaps a mixture of both? That’s certainly what I am feeling.

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