TORONTO – While no one knows for sure what a post-pandemic world will look like, one expert expects society to return to its social norms almost immediately when the day comes.
Steve Joordens, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough, told CTV News Channel that although Canada is in the midst of a second wave of COVID-19, he is optimistic that social norms will eventually return.
“I would say we’ll see a big throwback, that once we all feel safe again, we’ve all missed that normal so much that I suspect we’ll be going back,” said Joordens.
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have short- and long-term effects on the way humans socialize, according to Joordens. He said that once it is possible to safely socialize again, some people may need more time to reintroduce social norms into their daily lives due to the lingering fear.
âWe walk fearing human beings, fearing strangers. But I suspect we’ll keep closer social circles after that, âJoordens said.
Mental health during the pandemic remains a growing concern for Canadians as people face tighter restrictions for the second time. As we head into another winter with COVID-19, Joordens says Canadians are feeling the toll âemotionallyâ.
âA lot of us are trying toâ¦ figure out how we can best manage the next few months,â said Joordens.
According to a national poll released by the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the number of Canadians who feel depressed recently increased from 21% in September to 18% in July. Fear and anxiety about the virus has also increased.
âConnecting with others is our way of coping and the virus has taken that away from us,â he said.
When we experience negative emotions such as grief, stress, and fear, connecting with other social people is often how we cope. The virus took that away from us, Joordens said.
Since physical isolation plays a major role in how society responds to the pandemic, it is important in the coming winter months to make an effort to reach out to others safely, according to Joordens. , for example through phone calls or Zoom outputs.
âWe want to be physically distant, but we want to be socially close,â he said.