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Tips on how to get over pandemic fears as businesses, schools open

Tips on how to get over pandemic fears as businesses, schools open
Posted at 3:53 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 15:53:27-04

As more businesses open up, along with schools and colleges, there are still some hurdles many people need to get over when it comes to fears associated with COVID-19.

Fox 17 spoke with Psychologist Dr. Lyndsay Volpe-Bertram from Spectrum Health about these fears.

"I don't think six or seven months ago any of us thought we'd be still in this current state," Dr. Volpe-Bertram explained, adding that the differences in the way people are handling the precautions is adding another layer of stress. "I think that range of reaction and behavior is also contributing to our overall stress because everybody is kind of taking a different approach to it."

To address a balance, Dr. Volpe-Bertram recommends what's called "Ongoing Calculated Risk Assessment", similar to what many call risk vs. reward.

"We are looking at it as, 'Is this worth it to me?' Is what I'm going to get as a benefit back from having this experience or putting myself out there in some way, is that worth the possible exposure?", asked Dr. Volpe-Bertram.

Essentially she recommends we be efficient and choosy in everything we do, even in socializing or explaining.

"Rather than saying, 'We have to say yes to everything'. Help us identify what are the most important events for us to be attending? Who are the most important people that we want to spend our time with?"

Dr. Volpe-Bertram reminds, as the weather turns and flu season fast approaches, not to stress about it, but instead prepare for more mental well-being.

"It's important for us to start thinking about what our coping strategies are going to be in the Winter and how are we going to keep ourselves busy. Because we don't want people to stay holed-up in their houses, fearful of going out to places. But we want them to move and feel more comfortable in ways that are safe," said Dr. Volpe-Bertram.

This story was first reported by Derek Francis at WXMI in Grand Rapids, Michigan.