We are experiencing a new normal and it seems like it’s here to stay for a while.

Families are having arguments over what’s safe; and having disagreements over school reopening, work travel schedules, financial stress, childcare, and who to allow into our home. The stress of COVID-19 has affected us physically, emotionally and mentally. 

Many families cannot seem to agree on what is safe. One partner may think that the worst of COVID is behind us while the other is just as cautious as when the virus became a global pandemic in March. We are anxiously asking our children where they have been; and if they have been wearing a mask, washing their hands, etc. The stress alone on checking in with family members can be exhausting.

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So who is right? Well, you both may be.

Health is one of those things that we don’t realize how blessed and lucky we are to have until we don’t have it anymore. How many times have you received a phone call from a close family member or friend explaining that a loved one suddenly developed a serious health complication out-of-the-blue? In a matter of seconds the world crystallizes. The stress of housework, schedules, what everyone wants for dinner and long work hours don’t seem to be all that bad after all. You’d do anything to go back to when those were the biggest problems in life, right? 

Instead of discussing ways to try and prevent the disease, talk about what happens if someone becomes sick. As spouses –and as a family— would you be okay with that? How would the house run with one man down? Would that put more stress on your family? What would happen if someone becomes gravely ill (in other words, hospitalized, intubated, etc.)? As spouses—and as a family—would you be okay with that?

The idea here is to work backwards. Perhaps after answering those questions, it won’t seem as difficult to find even ground for you to stand on. Perhaps after answering those questions, it won’t seem that difficult to compromise.

COVID-19 has been horribly politicized — something that should have never happened because it’s made it tough for New Jerseyans to know what to believe; and thus, what to do.

The good news here is that COVID-19 doesn’t respond to politics, however, it does respond to science. If beginning with the end doesn’t pave the way for finding a united front – follow the science. Ask your physician and pediatrician. Ask friends or family who may be doctors or specialists either in infectious disease or virology. Look up the most current information on SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and COVID-19 – not only from our country but from other comparable countries as well.

Most importantly, remember that you’re on the same team. Both you and your spouse/partner are doing what you think is best for you and your family. Don’t lose sight of that. 

At the Hellenic Therapy Center, located at 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ, we are currently seeing clients via Zoom, FaceTime or Phone.  You may contact us at 908-322-0112, or visit us at www.hellenictherapy.com.