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Expert offers advice on the right way to ‘return to normal’

‘The brain can’t unknow something,’ Dr. Rockwell says, ‘We can’t go back to before’

It forced many families to take a closer look at their day-to-day lives and got many wondering if they’ll go back to the way it was before the pandemic.
It forced many families to take a closer look at their day-to-day lives and got many wondering if they’ll go back to the way it was before the pandemic.

DETROIT – Families have been experience a lot of ups and downs during the COVID pandemic.

It forced many families to take a closer look at their day-to-day lives and got many wondering if they’ll go back to the way it was before the pandemic.

Barton and Bridjet Morris have always been on the go. Like many of us, their perspective on home, family and what matters most shifted.

As a family of five -- that includes 7-year-old Roman, 4-year-old Isabella and 18-month-old Rocco -- they’re still going to play soccer and dance, but their day-to-day calendars are looking a bit different.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Donna Rockwell said the way a family decides how to get back to normal is a very personal decision.

“I think that the way we come back in after the pandemic is an individual situation. I think people need to go slowly though,” Rockwell said. “When people come back from space on space flights, they have to go into quarantine and they have to sort of get used to their their environment again. I think the same is true with a pandemic. We need to understand what we’re stepping back into before we do that.”

As many start to plan out schedules for our families moving forward, experts said it’s important to go gradually.

“I don’t think there’s any going back to the way it was before. I think we’re always evolving and growing and I think we’re moving forward. We’re incorporating all the things that happened last year into our new perspective of life,” Rockwell said. “The brain can’t unknow something. We already know what happened last year, we’ve already experienced that. We can’t go back to before.”

The Morris family agrees. They said that’s something that has always worked for them -- only doing what they’re comfortable with as a family and not feeling pressured to go back to the way things used to be.

Most importantly, Rockwell said it’s important to use your children as a guide. Let them show you what they’re comfortable with and what their limits are.

“I think it’s important that we listen to our children and see where they’re at emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and bajo that not put our desires on to them,” Rockwell said. “If they want to play baseball, great. If they don’t, we need to honor that we can’t rush our children back into a post pandemic reality. It’s really unfair to them.”


About the Authors:

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.