Emotional suffering

I am an HSP (highly sensitive person) with a general anxiety disorder. I’ve lived in New Hampshire for 15 years. I have grown to count on simple activities to help me learn to appreciate the positive things about our area: a stroll along the beach, a visit to our favorite local brewery taproom, a swim at the YMCA, a hike at my favorite local trail network, visits to museums, and attending Renaissance faires and steampunk festivals. I can’t do any of these things at the moment because even my favorite local nature reservation trail system is closed. I have been using other hiking trail systems, but the experience isn’t the same because some places are smaller or they are harder to get to. The shutdown has taken away many of my coping mechanisms for dealing with stress from both home life and work. My closest family members all live out of state and cannot even come visit without the risk of being shamed for traveling interstate for leisure and being expected to quarantine. My in-laws and many of our friends live in Europe and cannot visit the USA at all during the international travel ban. As a result of all of this, my anxiety and panic attacks have worsened in intensity and frequency. I am registered with a therapist, but I don’t see the point in trying the telehealth format because it really defeats the purpose of therapy: as someone who has been using internet-based communication tools since the 1990’s, I know that there’s a benefit in face-to-face interaction that technology cannot replace. I am concerned about residents of nursing homes who may or may not understand why they can’t have any visitors and children who are being shamed for meeting up with a few friends to prevent loneliness. The human connection is so important for all ages. Please lift all restrictions before summertime.

Caroline Liebenow
Nashua, NH

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