Amid the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus as life is slowly coming back to normalcy in some parts of the world, anxiety has been mounting the citizens. The ease of restrictions in New Zealand came down to ‘Level 2’, many people are considering it as a “return of worry”. After being under strict lockdown for at least seven weeks to curb the further spread of coronavirus, New Zealand has now eased some of the restrictions and has now given green signal for people to return to school, shops, restaurants and even cinema.
According to reports, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had said that her “team of five million” had made the sacrifice of halting their normal life to protect the individuals who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 disease in the nation. But now, as the numbers indicate that the first wave of the outbreak has been contained and health professionals seem to have gained control over the infection, restrictions have been removed. The country did not report a single new case or death on May 12.
While the lifting to full lockdown is a long-awaited sign for the economists who can against restart the operations in the country, citizens have expressed a small sense of anxiousness over the thought of resuming life as normal. Social gatherings will not be allowed for more than ten people and strangers have been asked to maintain social distance. New Zealand will also operate public transport in shifts.
According to international media reports, Dr Dougal Sutherland, a clinical psychologist at Victoria University of Wellington has said that for some people the fear of contracting the COVID-19 disease may escalate with the ease in restrictions. Others may feel struggles in adhering to basic social skills such as interactions with people such as friendships.
According to Sutherland, even though some people will be relieved about Level 2 of restrictions, it can also mark the return of worry and anxiety for the people who had a sense of safety in Level 3 or 4. Old fears about being unwell due to the disease that has killed over 287,000 in the world, might return.
In all fairness, I am in New Zealand where I feel our government has taken the right measures at the right time and communicated them well. Level 3 is still hard though, but a change from high anxiety to mid anxiety is still a win.— Grace (@fully_obsessed) May 3, 2020
My feels are very weird about Level 2 because my social anxiety is having a massive flare up. Gently reminding myself that I don’t even have that many friends, and no one wants to hang out with me anyway 😂😬— Toni Wi (@toniwaiaroha) May 11, 2020
As we in New Zealand face the potential opening up of business after 6 weeks of lock-down, 2 concerns seem to arise: 1) anxiety entering public space again, 2) is leaving the home office really necessary? #covidchanges— Jay Matenga (@jay_matenga) May 11, 2020