Delaware Valley residents face back-to-work anxiety as life returns to pre-COVID normal

With COVID-19 numbers declining, folks in the Delaware Valley are reflecting on the transition to in-person work after being home for more than a year.

Rebecca Gallatin, of Media, is looking forward to going back to the office, but says her company is waiting until September to let personnel come back.

"I feel like it was right away, right now, it would feel a little bit more uncomfortable and not knowing other people's situations, vaccination-wise or underlying-condition wise, that would be more anxiety inducing," she said.

Philadelphia-based counselor Chimere Holmes says that it is natural for people to be nervous and feel mixed emotions after working from home for almost a year and a half.

"A lot of people don't know quite frankly how to proceed and re-enter into this new norm," she explained. "Maybe some baby steps into what was the norm pre-COVID would be the most helpful as people start to go back."

Besides concerns, many have gotten used to the comfort of working from home, such as not having to commute or being close to loved ones.

"It's been lovely walking down the hall instead of driving for a half hour," said Gallatin. "I don't miss paying for gas every three days."

Even with these advantages, Chris Carideo, the men's basketball coach at Widener University, says he is "more than ready" to return.

"There's always gonna be a little bit of anxiety but I think all the proper precautions have taken place. Our president said we're starting in August, and as long as we're trending that way, we're gonna be there," he said.

These circumstances are not ideal for everyone, but during this period of adjustment, Holmes suggests a method that will work for everyone who feels nervous or excited about returning to work in-person.

"I think it’s really a matter of taking your time and doing what's best for you," she added.



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