Business is booming for Maria Mir. Under normal circumstances, she takes little time off in November and December; the holidays are her busy season. But this is 2020. Nothing is normal. And everyone seems to need her at once.
Mir is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She’s used to patients feeling lonely and depressed as Thanksgiving and Christmas near. But “this particular time is different,” she says. “Even people who haven’t felt lonely in the past are now feeling that isolation.”
Pandemic Holiday Season 1.0 is taking its toll on psyches and pocketbooks. We’ve been cooped up for the better part of nine months, but instead of drawing up lists of guests and gifts, we’re cataloging the things we cannot do as temperatures drop and coronavirus cases soar across the country.
Like visit far-flung family and friends. On Friday, the governors of the three West Coast states issued “travel advisories” recommending against nonessential travel and urging people entering California, Oregon and Washington to self-quarantine for two weeks to slow the virus’ spread.