This has been a year of extreme social deprivation. But the pandemic — like all pandemics before it — eventually will end. Then what? Will we easily transition from isolation back into the real world? For most of us, the answer probably is yes, although it may take time to adapt, according to social scientists who study human behavior.
“Social skills are like a muscle,” says Richard Slatcher, a professor of psychology at the University of Georgia who studies the effects of relationships on health and well-being. “If we are out of practice, it will take a while to get back on the social bike, if you will, and ride it again. It has now become second nature to keep your guard up. We’re habituated to this new normal, so it will take a while to return to the old normal.”
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