A local psychologist says many people are feeling lonely and disconnected as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts our sense of normalcy.

McMillan James provides psychological services for the Canadian Back Institute and Lethbridge Integrated Service Court and was the guest speaker at a special “virtual” Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs presentation last week.

She says humans are incredibly adaptive to crisis but not necessarily for long periods of time.

James says “we are built to handle that stress for that moment and then be able to recover. I think the difference when we’re working with COVID-19 is that it’s not just acute, it’s becoming chronic. We’re seeing it last longer than a month, longer than two and this stress response that we have is had to carry out for a longer period of time, which is not necessarily what we’re designed to do.”

James says even though our normalcy has been disrupted, it’s important to create a new structured routine and provide predictability for our body and mind.

Watch the full SACPA presentation by James on YouTube.