(CNN) — Memorial Day weekend has brought images of family gatherings and crowded beaches, but while things may seem more normal, a clinical psychologist told CNN that many people may still be dealing with the impacts. emotions of the covid-19 pandemic.
“Whether they know someone who has covid or someone who died, or friends talking about it or just seeing it in the media, all of those things caused everyone some kind of trauma,” Dr. Jeff Gardere told Pamela Brown, from CNN. “The covid has really changed our lives.”
At the start of this holiday weekend, nearly 2 million people traveled through airports, a record for the pandemic, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). And with 50% of Americans receiving at least one dose of the vaccine, summer revelers fled to beaches like Miami Beach and Santa Monica this weekend.
“It’s a whole year of being indoors, and now you’re outside, everyone is biking, jogging, exercising, partying,” KerryAnn McGregor, a tourist in Miami Beach, told CNN. “It’s OK now.”
But after moving from the disruption of isolation and mask use to the overwhelming effort of mass vaccination, making the switch to a more normal life might not be that simple for everyone, Gardere said.
«We had gotten into a very safe bubble […] But now it feels like the rug is pulled out from under our feet, doesn’t it? For people who are very afraid to go back to work, to go back to school, “he said. “People have anxiety.”
Rather than avoiding anxiety, Gardere said it’s best to cope with it with healthy coping mechanisms like meditation, breathing, peer support, and counseling.
“Every day that you face that anxiety, the better you will be,” he said.
Different risks for vaccinated and unvaccinated people during the holidays
The gatherings on the beach on Memorial Day this year are not as worrisome to health experts as they were last year.
Fully vaccinated and generally healthy people “should feel very well protected,” said CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen.
The high number of vaccinations has meant a decrease in cases in protected people. But for those who have not been vaccinated, the risk of large concentrations remains high because “the virus has fewer places to go,” Wen said.
“We have more transmissible variants and, unfortunately, people who do not have immunity are not protected from these variants that can cause a lot of havoc,” Wen explained.
Mayor Dan Gelber expressed concern about the influx of tourists to Miami Beach this Memorial Day weekend.
Gelber said one of the problems is that “we are one of the few open places, but we are also a very attractive destination. So just too many people come.
“The virus is still here,” he reminded everyone when he spoke to CNN’s Kate Bolduan on Friday. “The volume of people who have been coming here is unprecedented, and some of those who are coming are looking to perform.”
The mayor said there will be “a huge saturation of police officers” patrolling over the long weekend.
We need to know where this virus came from, says an expert
Amid relief from high vaccination rates and declining infections, experts are turning their attention to identifying the source of the virus.
Experts previously said that the virus was most likely transmitted from an animal. But after a US intelligence report found that several researchers at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019. The former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA, for Dr. Scott Gottlieb said last week that there is “growing circumstantial evidence” that COVID-19 may come from a laboratory.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian rejected the report at the time, accusing the United States of “exaggerating the theory of laboratory leaks.”
“Through field visits and in-depth visits in China, the experts unanimously agreed that the accusation of laboratory leaks is extremely unlikely,” Zhao said.
The Chinese government has not been transparent on this issue, Wen said, but it is important that the global community get to the bottom of the matter.
Gottlieb said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the scientific community may never know for sure the origin.
Unless we get really lucky and find the intermediate host, or find a colony of cats or pangolins where it started. It’s an epidemic and it could have spread to humans first, or we have a whistleblower in China or a regime change – which we’re not going to have – I don’t know if we’re going to find out for sure that this came out of a lab, “Gottlieb said.
“I think ultimately we’re going to come up with an assessment and a probability of whether this came out of a lab versus a zoonotic source,” he said.
Knowing that origin is “absolutely essential,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Hotez explained that the covid-19 pandemic is the third major coronavirus epidemic of the century, after the original SARS epidemic and the MERS epidemic.
“Mother Nature is telling us what is going to happen,” Hotez said. “There will be covid-26 and covid-32, unless we fully understand the origins of covid-19, and this is absolutely critical and what is needed.”
CNN’s Aya Elamroussi and Naomi Thomas contributed to this report.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism