Re-Emergence Phenomenon

Re-Emergence Phenomenon

As people start to re-emerge from COVID sequestering, there seems to be a few experiences that are quite common. See if this matches your experience of the re-emergence phenomenon.

My View Of The Re-Emergence Phenomenon

Two examples of behavior I didn’t expect:

  1. Many people seem to need an outlet to express their ideas and thoughts. And without it, they get dammed up…waiting for the opportunity to be released.
  2. (This one was even more unexpected) People didn’t just explode back out into social activity. There was a caution about re-emerging. It was almost as if they needed to make sure it was safe before they re-emerged.

Pent-Up Words

It started during the daily Zoom men’s fiber meet-ups.  I noticed that a large number of guys (including me) who first started attending these meetings had a LOT of things to say. It was almost as if they had been storing up ideas and words that needed to be expressed. And the people they lived with weren’t sufficient for this task of purging.

My favorite example was at my dentist earlier this week.

She asked me how I had been throughout the pandemic. I noted that as a retired person, with opportunities to get out and exercise, it hadn’t been too difficult. Mostly I missed going out to restaurants.

She then went on for about 5 minutes about how all of her patients seemed to only want to talk and talk. Unlike before the lockdown, they told her they had all the time in the world. She didn’t need to rush with their dental work. After she finished describing all her patients’ need to express themselves, she told me about how when she went home, her husband wanted to talk with her and she just wanted to be left alone.

My lesson was that many of us need an outlet for expression.  With my mouth full of dental tools and latex-covered fingers, I was glad to be my dentist’s outlet.

Fear of Re-Entry

Since being vaccinated, I’ve been out in the public some.  The Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat was the first re-entry event. I’ve also recently been to a family re-union/birthday party. I’ve also gone out to a few restaurants. I’ve Been to my doctor for a postponed annual physical. And of course, I’ve been to my dentist for a postponed check-up and cleaning. I’ve even been to my grocery store and Costco without a mask.

None of these activities have been an exuberant re-entry experience.  It all feels a bit weird and scary. I feel like a goldfish that was restricted to a goldfish bowl for over a year. And then when released into a bigger fish tank, I didn’t feel comfortable swimming outside the confines of the smaller fishbowl.

Goldfish Bowl

Don’t get me wrong. Each event was a joyous time (yes, Costco was joyous). But each one felt awkward and weird…if that makes any sense.

How is your re-entry going? Do you find yourself talking and talking and talking? Do you find yourself staying in when you could be out? Have you seen any other reactions to the re-emergence that I haven’t mentioned?

Love to hear your response.

Current Knitting

Made some headway on the Old Shale Bouclé shawl. But not much.

Old Shale Boucle 07-12-21 02 Old Shale Boucle 07-12-21 01

I’m pretty sure this yarn is Fleece Artist, Mohair Boucle Yarn. Each cake is about 8 ounces or 230 grams, which doesn’t quite match up with any of their yarns exactly.  I will still do a burn test and maybe even a bleach test to try and confirm the fiber content.

10 comments on “Re-Emergence Phenomenon

  1. My experience has been similar, Joe! Whether they live alone or not, it seems that some people have a LOT to say, having been denied their usual social outlets. (And there are those who require more air time than most–even in the “before times!”) Mostly, I’m happy to listen, but sometimes I wonder if I’ll get the Academy Award for acting happy.

    In addition to your observations, I will add a noticeable atrophy of social skills, which I’m sure we’ll recover once we’re more comfortable swimming outside our fishbowls!

    1. Atrophy of social skills…I interpreted that as more open and receptive and vulnerable. At least at the men’s knitting retreat in May. It felt awkward for some to be more vulnerable than they ever were.

      Maybe we’re experiencing different behavior.

  2. As a nurse, I’ve been working M-F since May 2020. I wear a mask, change my clothes at the front door, and am (frankly) glad to get home and social distance with my family. I’ve managed to stay safe with the vaccine, hand washing, and masking. I’ve gotten good at social distancing– even here in NY.

    I’ve started “stepping out”, but am one of those who don’t want to give up the mask yet (despite having been vaccinated). I still don’t like to go to restaurants (around maskless people) but have been in stores with the maskless, and parks, and music events. Everyone needs to assess the risks/benefits for themselves.

    I have concerns about the delta variant. For fully vaccinated people, the top symptoms of delta infection are headache, runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat. While those s/s don’t sound so bad- I’ll say “No thank you”. I’ll keep my mask on in public and continue to wash my hands.

    It is my personal belief that the unvaccinated are playing virus roulette. And, I kind of resent them for being variant factories. Just saying…

    1. Masks are so common in much of Asia. I plan to keep wearing mine in indoor settings especially during “cold and flu season” because I really liked jot getting sick.

      Much appreciation to all Health care workers!

  3. I would say similar and would add that I am just so glad to HEAR people other than myself and my husband and in-laws say things. I have one friend who used to bug me because she talks about herself incessantly. I appreciate her so much more now! I saw her at a small gathering and was like “oh thank goodness! I won’t have to talk about myself!!” I headed straight for her. I am pretty sick of myself at this point. Lol.

  4. I tend to be a quiet person so I don’t find I’m talking, talking, talking. We also have each other. If I lived alone, I might be a chatterbox now.
    We were already living in an insulated way prior to the virus. During the virus, of course, we did become even more insulated.
    I’m the one who generally gets out and about. Now that I can do so, I’m still very cautious, so I don’t feel all that much has changed.
    I’m still cautious and will probably remain so, wearing masks, hand washing and social distancing. Taking the precautions now might help to keep the Delta variant from taking a strong foothold when it may come here. And I still want to protect those yet un or under vaccinated with less immunity. And protect us from the anti vaccination people.
    There has been so much we have learned about the virus and all, over year plus and I think, there is more that will come to light with long term health problems, etc., from the virus.
    My opera singer friend is singing is singing in one of the Metropolitan Opera concerts in the park, and as dearly as I would want to be there, I have second thoughts….taking the train and being at the concert in such a crowd, might scare me off. Prior to the virus, I would have “moved mountains” to be at her performances! We will see what August brings….

  5. My life didn’t change much as a result of quarantine, and again it hasn’t changed much since quarantine was lifted.

  6. Before, I wanted to be around people, spend time with those in Hospice (work). I’m 70. I don’t care to leave home, be around people not even family. I’m a little ashamed. The bickering, yelling, crappy attitudes to others I can’t stand anymore. I can barely deal with two of us on the same floor of the house. Just want to do my own thing Alone.

  7. I talk all the time, nothing to do with emergence, I make myself delirious, I turn to the person I am talking to and say “I’m so sorry I am talking so much” they usually tell me they don’t mind, I pray they aren’t snickering behind my back LOL.
    I found the “shelter in place” wonderful, we didn’t have people over, or clothing shopping, we put up signs on our doors, “no masks no enter”. Although retired I felt like I had more time because no one called me, my speaking engagements and workshops were cancelled, so for the first time in 40 years I was able to think about what I would like to do next. I was able to quilt by hand and machine and not feel rushed.
    I went on long walks with my Shih-Tzu Rosie, we completely covered ourselves not to get any germs. In the middle of the pandemic my sister and I, the surgeon and the orthopedic Dr. decided to finally (after 15 years of surgeries) get my right knee completely replaced. Hallelujah! The first time in 20 years that I am not in pain. I have to say I am happy about my knee-I have NO PAIN at all. Our walks have increased to 3 miles a day.
    So, I have to say that the pandemic 2020-21 has been a gift.

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