‘Different people move at different paces’: Denver psychiatrist talks about post-pandemic anxieties

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) – It’s day three of no mask requirement for fully vaccinated people in Colorado, but businesses that decided to follow the CDC’s new suggestions still have plenty of people inside that are choosing to keep their masks on.

What’s harder to gauge though, is if those people simply aren’t vaccinated, or just fear judgement from the people around them for making the decision to take off the mask.

Restaurant owners who are allowing vaccinated people to not wear masks, still see that hesitancy.

“A lot of our customers today were still a little bit on the hesitant side and were surprised to walk in and see someone without a mask. It’s takes them back,” said Autumn Brown, manager at Pig and Sprout Restaurant. 

Dr. Zach Robinson, a Psychiatrist with HealthONE Behavioral Health Services, expects that to be the norm for awhile. There can be feelings of anxiety from people on both ends, those vaccinated and those not.

“While we are seeing a lot of progress here in the U.S. we are also exposed to a lot of information all over the world where there are still countries struggling to manage the pandemic and dying,” said Robinson. “It will be normal for people to not know what feels safe, and what doesn’t feel safe at this time.”

People who feel they did the right thing by getting vaccinated may feel unsure about what’s acceptable in public, confused about the new normal.

“There will be anxieties around looking different or to be making different choices when out in public and what may result with what people are thinking. It’s a normal response,” said Robinson. “People want to feel like they fit in.”

On the other hand, people who choose not to get vaccinated may fear going in public places again, without the comfort of everyone wearing a mask.

“Different people move at different paces,” said Robinson. “In the end it’s going to take time to process.”

Robinson told FOX31 while he does expect many people to seek help or guidance to navigate these feels and decisions, time could ultimately be the biggest healer. Other’s may need to seek professional help.

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