2022: My New “Normal”

Written on by Olga Antonyuk

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, Voice and Vision will be hosting a workshop via zoom presented by Philip Morrison, LCSW, on Friday, May 20th from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EST. In this interactive workshop, Phil will be focused on “2022: My New Normal.” Phil previously hosted a series of workshops during the pandemic that encouraged participants to look at their everyday lives and open up their perspectives, while challenging each to take advantage of the opportunities we all choose daily. If we look around us now, we seem to be back to “normal” – people are acting like there was no pandemic: stores are opened with no mask mandates, and people are not attentive to social distancing or vigilant about their hygiene. Yet, is the pandemic really over?

There are some previous plagues and epidemics throughout history that no longer exist or are “under control”:

  • The Black Death was a bubonic plague pandemic occurring in Afro-Eurasia from 1346 to 1353. 
  • Polio epidemics were sporadic, first appearing in 1916 and the first successful vaccine did not come around until 1953.
  • Swine Flu, H1N1, Ebola, and Zika viruses are all epidemics around the world in recent years. 

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is the first pandemic of this magnitude that has affected each and every one of us on such a personal and significant level. Effects on people have ranged from feeling personal civil rights have been infringed upon to heavy feelings of loss and grief including loss of friends, family, relationships, jobs, income, housing, and loss of freedom. Demand for outpatient mental health care has skyrocketed as people feel the effects of the pandemic, and underlying, untreated mental health symptoms have become exacerbated due to increased stressors. Access to mental health services and support was affected too as people were quarantined and not able to attend programs. Lack of in-person access and difficulty finding staff to fill vacant positions have reached a critical crossroads leading to regulatory bodies waiving barriers and hurdles to allow people access to services and support through telehealth.

What does all this mean as we “move forward” and try to “move on” in 2022? Is COVID over or here to stay? How have our lives been affected forever? 

At this workshop, we will take personal inventories of what we have learned in the past two years. Phil will guide us through some current data, share some exercises to make us think and put a perspective on where we are, and identify the strengths and resolve in each of us.

We are grateful to Phil for leading this timely and necessary discussion. Please register at Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2022-my-new-normal-tickets-334046470987.


Phil Morrison is an LCSW who has over 30 years of experience working in the human services field and providing individual treatment through his private practice. Find more out about Phil through his website: Philip-Morrison-LCSW@Square.site

Photo by Emily Underworld on Unsplash

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About Kathryn

Kathryn Lerro

Hi, I’m Kathryn Lerro, mother of two lovely daughters, wife of one fine man.

After 24 years of wandering (thanks to my husband’s Air Force career), we are back home on the East Coast. We currently live in Philadelphia where I enjoy writing, taking long walks, decorating my front window in South Philly tradition, talking to interesting people and eating great food.

As I’ve met people on my travels I’ve become keenly aware that most of us could use a healthy dose of encouragement. It is for this reason that I try to weave a message of hope into everything I write.

About Mindy

Mindy Haas

Hi, I am Melinda Haas, but you can call me Mindy.   A true introvert, I delight in solitude with a good book or a movie.  I like dabbling in nature photography while taking rigorous hikes.  I adore my husband who is a ton of fun.  He shares my wanderlust as well as my appetite for Indian and Thai food.  Very often, you’ll find us dancing to Cumbia in the kitchen while we make dinner.   We also love road tripping and exploring new places. (New England is our new favorite!)

Through my writing, I want to encourage and embolden others to push past the limits they place on themselves.  I want to help people see that they can accomplish more than they think they were capable of.

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