YOUR LIFE YOUR HEALTH

Local Therapist Reassures Utahns That Post COVID-19 Re-Entry Anxiety Is Normal 

May 28, 2021, 6:41 PM | Updated: 9:38 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Considering the mental and emotional toll of the pandemic, it’s only natural to feel apprehensive about getting back to normal, and some will need more time than others. One Utah doctor said taking these steps will make “getting back” a little easier.  

Though Elizabeth Sória doesn’t speak English, she’s fluent in the worries of mothers. 

“She fears, you know, I will get it,” said Sória’s daughter, Arleth Antonio.

Sória said she was afraid Antonio, a senior at Granger High School, will get the coronavirus.

“It’s kind of difficult not knowing what people have the vaccination,” said Antonio.  

Sória had a bad case of coronavirus and couldn’t work. She eventually lost her job cleaning office buildings.

“She hasn’t found one yet, and it’s kind of difficult to pay the bills and, you know, rent and stuff,” Antonio said.  

The mother and daughter face very real health and economic concerns.  

Latinos make up 14% of Utah’s population, but had the highest COVID-19 case counts among underrepresented groups — over 20%, according to the Utah Governor’s Office.

“We don’t want to see our families get ill and you know, probably lose them… because that’s really hard to go through,” Antonio said.  

Because of all that worry and anxiety, Dr. Travis Mickelson, a psychiatrist, said re-entry may be emotionally challenging for many.

“It might even bring up some of that grief that they have been dealing with over this last year,” Mickelson said.  

Arleth Antonio, a senior at Granger High School in West Valley City, and her mother, Elizabeth Sória, face very real economical and health challenges after COVID-19. (KSL TV)

Antonio, a wrestler, knows COVID-19 loss first-hand.

“My coach’s mom passed away and she was really close to me. It really hit close to home,” she said.  

Mickelson said as restrictions lift, heart-pounding anxiety is normal, but we can work through it.

Sometimes that fight or flight response gets triggered when it doesn’t need to. That’s when it’s good to remind ourselves of the things we can control that protect us: like wearing a mask or getting vaccinated, according to Mickelson.  

“If I’m wanting to return to social situations and I’m nervous about doing that in person, I don’t have to jump back into that suddenly,” he said. “Maybe we can take a baby step.”

Mickelson said talking to kids about their feelings helps.

“‘I noticed that you seem kind of tense or kind of nervous right now. Tell me what you’re feeling,’ and getting that child to be able to describe the words and the language to describe how they’re feeling, and then be able to really validate that,” he said.  

He added that as a community, we should speak the language of kindness.

“It’s really important that we really have compassion for people around us because we just don’t know, we just don’t know what other people have experienced,” Mickelson said.  

The future looks bright for Antonio.

“I’m going Washington, Big Bend Community College, to wrestle, so that’s really exciting,” she said.  

It’s just going to take time to ease back into interrupted routines. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Your Life Your Health

Tom Nehring practicing his punches against a punching bag with another boxer....

Emma Benson and Michael Houck, KSL TV

‘This is medicine for me’: A Utah man is battling Parkinson’s with boxing

An interactive class is helping those effected by Parkinson’s disease by keeping them active with boxing.

5 days ago

(FILE) An audiologist preforming an a  hearing test. (KSL TV)...

Emma Benson

Listen up! The health consequences of untreated hearing loss

Around 600,000 people in Utah have hearing loss, but many may not realize they do until they're tested and how it can affect their health.

12 days ago

Kenneth Applegate was diagnosed with high blood pressure. (Courtesy: Kenneth Applegate)...

Emma Benson

Utah dad’s journey from hypertension to health

At age 25, Applegate was diagnosed with high blood pressure. At first, he didn't think it was a big deal, until things became more serious.

19 days ago

Jeremy Ward, a dad diagnosed with sleep apnea, poses with his family. (Courtesy: Jeremy Ward)...

Emma Benson

Utah man finds sleep apnea relief with Inspire sleep therapy

Utah dad of six and avid biker was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. It wasn't until he received the Inspire implant that he found relief.

26 days ago

We're all guilty of slouching in our chairs. But did you know poor posture can cause serious health...

Emma Benson

Straightening up: How your posture affects your health

We're all guilty of slouching in our chairs. But did you know poor posture can cause serious health issues?

1 month ago

Linda Campbell showing the Breast MRI where doctors found her breast cancer....

Emma Benson

Breast MRI is helping detect cancer in high-risk patients

Intermountain Health is working on new advances in breast cancer screening by transforming early detection.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Local Therapist Reassures Utahns That Post COVID-19 Re-Entry Anxiety Is Normal