As our practice continues doing online therapy in response to COVID-19, we’ve been pleased to be quoted in several publications responding to the pandemic. Recently, both Senior Therapist Kelly Scott and Founder and Clinical Director Matt Lundquist were featured in three publications speaking to the different ways folks have been dealing with quarantine, whether getting a pet, bickering with family when cooped up together, or trying to stay connected remotely in self-isolation.
In “Should You Get a Dog Right Now?” in House Beautiful, Kelly Scott comments on the rise in pet adoptions since sheltering in place. Speaking to Nikhita Mahtani who cites a recent survey that 43.5% of shelters are experiencing an increased demand for adoptions since the COVID-19 outbreak, Kelly both helps explain the phenomenon and cautions against adopting a dog “as a bandaid for the emotions you’re feeling right now.”
Kelly observes that our typical way of relating to people by socializing together has been lost, which can explain the increased draw to adopting a pet. She says, “Having virtual conversations is nice, but that doesn’t replace being able to snuggle with someone. There’s an intimacy in relationships that we don’t have anymore so having a pet definitely helps us in a way that we’re able to parent it and feel needed.”
However, Kelly also notes that people adopting dogs should recognize that it’s a lifelong commitment. “You need to determine if you post-quarantine life allows the time and commitment needed for a dog,” Kelly emphasizes.
In The Wall Street Journal’s “For Cooped-Up Families, Food Becomes Something To Fight Over,” Matt responds to the tendency of some families, who are crammed together during quarantine, to bicker over minor conflicts such as food. As Matt asserts, “When we are cooped up together, we need something to fight about.” Fighting about low stakes subjects like food can be better than trying to tackle larger issues including finances or work right now.
Secondly, Matt is also quoted in “A Mental Health Guide for Beverage and Hospitality Professionals” for Seven Fifty Daily. Recognizing that many in the hospitality industry (like many other industries) are dealing with a significant amount of uncertainty, Matt specifically addresses how social distancing can be particularly isolating for restaurant workers whose jobs are primarily social. And sometimes, virtual communication can’t fill the void. “You can call friends, video chat, drink, party online, but the connection is just not the same,” says Matt.