Delta Variant Delays New Normal, Unleashes Fresh Anxieties: ‘I Have No Answers’

The Delta Airlines incident has been a case study in how the media can create fear and panic. Experts say that this is likely to be the new normal, as people are increasingly worried about their safety and security.

The Delta Variant Delays New Normal, Unleashes Fresh Anxieties is a piece that discusses the Delta Airlines’ decision to delay their new normal. It also discusses how playing with a credit card will cost you.

September was meant to be the start of a new routine. Offices would reopen, children would return to school, and many individuals who had been laid off due to the epidemic would return to work.

As new uncertainties about work and life throw a shadow over the remainder of 2021, the Delta version of Covid-19 is upending plans and saddling many individuals with a different breed of stress than what they’ve encountered in the previous 18 months.

Neha Bahuguna, 36, is married to a computer professional who found a new job during the epidemic. The pair planned to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area this summer, just in time for his office to reopen. They intended to sell their Los Angeles home and send their eldest kid to a different school. Ms. Bahuguna was also keen to restart her job hunt in a new location after quitting her previous employer in the spring due to the severe illness of a relative in India. Her husband’s workplace return has now been postponed, throwing everything into disarray.

She said, “I have no solutions.” “It’s affecting the overall tranquility that we should have—just the sense of being at ease in your own home and doing what you want to do.”

Ms. Bahuguna said that their current goal is to enroll their eldest kid in an L.A. school. If her husband gets summoned to an office this winter, it might mean taking him out of school halfway through the year or the family living apart. Meanwhile, she’s trying to be open with recruiters, explaining that she wants to work but isn’t sure where she’ll be living for a few months and is looking for a flexible employer.

Many individuals, like Ms. Bahuguna, are in a condition of anxiety-producing limbo. Hospitalization rates for Covid-19 have increased. Companies that had planned to reopen offices have postponed their plans. Because of the increasing number of Covid-19 cases, several school districts with early start dates have already sent students home. Returning to work has already caused a lot of anxiety: according to a recent poll, 82 percent of people were worried about going back to work.

According to counselors and career coaches, the current phase of the epidemic has added even more uncertainty to life and work, leaving many individuals feeling profoundly disturbed.

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Gandolfi, Michael

Michael Gandolfi/Flickr

Michael Gandolfi, a 22-year-old recent graduate of Arizona State University who is interviewing for four jobs, is worried about choosing the incorrect one or not grabbing an opportunity now before life takes a turn for the worst in the autumn. For some of the companies, the situation is fluid: some of the jobs are still entirely remote, but they need migration to places where he has no personal links, and there is no fixed timetable for in-person employment.

“Should I simply accept the job I’ve been given, even though I’m not pleased with it?” Or do I keep looking or attempt to discover something better, and the danger is how severe will the fall be?” he wondered.

Mr. Gandolfi had hoped to be living on his own in an apartment and working in an office, but he’s trapped at home with his mother in New Orleans. He’s previously turned down five career offers, including sales and asset management, since none of them piqued his interest. Mr. Gandolfi would want to work as a financial analyst or in the IT industry in principle, but he is concerned that the Delta version would harm the economy in the coming months.

Indoor restaurants, fitness courses, and concerts are all available. These once-commonplace occurrences are making a comeback. However, everyone now has a distinct degree of comfort as a result of Covid-19. What occurs in our heads when we determine if something is dangerous or not? Laura Kammermann is the illustrator behind this image.

Mr. Gandolfi intended to network—and eventually work—in person at least a couple days a week after more than a year of online education. He never got to walk inside an office during his internship at an aerospace firm this summer, which was something he intended to do in the new season, he added.

He said, “We were focused on the light at the end of the tunnel: the vaccine.” “It’s like, What’s going to be the savior this time?” with the new variations.

When individuals are in survival mode, Emily Anhalt, a clinical psychologist and co-founder of Coa, a mental health company, says it’s typical for them to push aside unpleasant feelings. Many of Dr. Anhalt’s customers were contemplating significant life changes this spring, she added. They were talking of changing jobs, relocating to a new location, or ending a relationship after months of not feeling in control of their life. This soul-searching, she believes, is an effort to reclaim control.

She said, “People were beginning to figure out: What do I want the next part of my life to look like?”

Many individuals have now been thrown back into uncertainty, something humans don’t deal well with. Their anxiousness is exacerbated by the fact that their emotional gas tanks are almost depleted, she said. “It seemed like they had choices and agency, and then the Delta version showed up and said, ‘Nope.’ ”

Nikki Patterson, a career counselor who worked at Google for almost a decade, most recently in human resources, has seen disparities in the kinds of problems that men and women fear. The guys she works with have expressed concern about returning to work and preserving some of the work-life balance they had achieved during the epidemic. Stress over temporary school closures, whether returning to work is safe, and discussion of burnout are all on the minds of the working moms she trains.

Ms. Patterson added, “At this point, I’m hearing a lot of mothers talking about being furious.” “It’s this, ‘Are you kidding me?’ feeling. “How am I meant to proceed?”

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Lauren Hinz and her son, Max Hinz, are a mother and son duo.

Casey Dula/Getty Images

Lauren Hinz, a 37-year-old cancer survivor and mother of a first-grader, lives in Austin, Texas, and is dreading the start of another school year in a state where the governor has forbidden instructors or students from wearing masks.

She said, “All the air is out of my sails.”

Ms. Hinz quit her work in healthcare analytics in April 2020 to assist with the virtualization of her son’s education. In preparation for his returning to school full-time, she has been looking for employment. Ms. Hinz was already concerned about how her 18-month resume gap would be viewed, and now she expects school closures on a regular basis due to an increase in Covid-19 cases and quarantine orders for children who have been exposed to the virus.

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“It’s such a depressing feeling,” she said, adding that she never planned to be a stay-at-home mother and that she is concerned about the highly transmissible Delta strain since she is vaccinated yet immunocompromised.

“I could take my kid out of school and do another year of virtual,” she added, “which is the last thing I want to do.” “I’ve wept a lot of nights because I’ve had to deal with the fact that I’ve essentially given up my job. Hopefully not, but it’s possible.”

Katherine Bindley can be reached at Katie.Bindley@wsj.com.

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The wsj paying with a credit-card is about the new normal. It’s about how people are trying to find their place in this new world, and it’s about how they’re not finding any answers.

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