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As NY reopens, many experience re-entry anxiety

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Posted at 4:51 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 17:19:37-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York immediately rolled back most COVID-19 restrictions Tuesday, a sign of recovery.

But as many celebrate and rejoice, some are struggling with anxiety.

"My anxiety comes from wanting to make sure that I respect others' wishes so I always have my mask in my pocket," said Bill Sanford.

"My real biggest fear is how my son feels. I know he's scared, right? He doesn't feel safe out in public without having mask on. And I'm trying to do my part as father to let him know he's safe," said Kyle Bukolt.

"My main concern was people being truthful and honest about with what their vaccine level is," said Kaitlin Wojak.

"It's normal, natural as human beings to have anxiety when things are changing, when we have new norms," said Lindsey Rickard, VP of Training & Innovation at BestSelf Behavioral Health.

She said one way to help cope with this kind of anxiety, is to make sure you know what your boundaries are, being able to express them, and asking other about their boundaries.

"You might have had a great time hanging out with your kids and your pets at home, and really enjoyed that time at home, while other people have had a really tragic last year and a half and have lost people. And have had a really hard time." said Rickard.

She said if you are not comfortable with taking off your mask, it’s perfectly fine to express that you wish to continue wearing it.

Rickard also said to make sure not to pass judgment on others who want to keep their distance or pass on attending a social gathering.

"People are going to have different levels of being comfortable. Some people are going to jump right back in, fully vaccinated no mask. Other people are are going to need more time," she said.

And for some, having the vaccine has helped put their mind at ease.

"I'm vaccinated and I feel like...I'm happy we're getting back to normal," said Robin Sanford.

For more tips on how to manage re-entry anxiety related to COVID-19, click here.