Coronavirus -- The End Of Quarantine, The Aftermath, And Picking Up The Pieces

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated May 14, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team
Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include suicide, substance use, or abuse which could be triggering to the reader.
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The coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to significant changes in culture and lifestyle worldwide. To understand these complexities, it may be helpful to look at the end of the coronavirus quarantine, the aftermath of weeks of living indoors (often without working), the emotional toll COVID-19 has taken on families around the world, and what picking up the pieces might look like for Americans.

Online therapy is a safe alternative to in-person counseling

The complex impact of COVID-19

Since 2020, the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, has taken a global toll on individuals, families, cities, states, municipalities, and citizens worldwide. The number of coronavirus cases and survivors of the virus since the beginning of the pandemic has increased to millions. 

While there are numerous cases of the deadly virus active worldwide in 2023, some countries, cities, and states have decided that it is in the best interests of their rapidly failing economies to lift local quarantine and lockdown orders.

In some cases, these reversals are coming in complete opposition to medical advice and recommendations from world public health officials like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. 

Impacts of COVID-19 on society 

Below are a few of the impacts COVID-19 has had since its beginning. 

Social distancing as the new normal

With strict rules for no public contact in place and social distancing mandates that required people to stay at least six feet apart from strangers, some businesses around the US closed in 2020 and 2021. Others defied federal and state orders that mandated they remained closed, opening for business anyway — to keep their businesses from permanently closing. 

In the US, states like Georgia, Texas, and Tennessee were the first to lift mandatory quarantine and lockdown orders. The states had special rules in place for public contact and social distancing requirements. The state reopened additional services in Georgia to bolster the essential services that remained open during the lockdown, like barbershops and movie theaters.

On April 24th, 2020, Governor Kemp of Georgia issued a statewide order that kept the state under an official state of emergency while relaxing rules and restrictions on what businesses and services were allowed to open. Some cities and states were reopening, while others remained closed, fearing the coronavirus. 

No work for weeks: The financial aftermath

Amid a nationwide quarantine or lockdown, the coronavirus took a toll on survivors, families, and front-line health workers. National lockdown orders sent millions home from jobs, with some being laid off and others not being able to return. For that reason, some Americans felt the financial impact of being unable to go to work or run their businesses for weeks.

A few federal, state, and local programs stepped up to the plate to offer options and financial relief to individual workers and businesses hit hard by COVID-19. The Small Business Administration offered reduced-cost loan options for small businesses for a time. 

Federal and state unemployment programs have also offered relief options for individuals and families financially impacted by the coronavirus. The CARES Act, a federal mandate enacted in response to the coronavirus, offered provisions for non-traditional workers to receive unemployment benefits until the economy somewhat recovered. 

Lockdown: The emotional aftermath

The physical and financial toll the coronavirus has taken on the world has led to emotional fallout as people wonder how they may begin picking up the pieces of their lives. Children and adults experiencing chronic mental health conditions before the emergence of COVID-19 may have missed several appointments, medication refills, and follow-up care due to the lockdown or quarantine restrictions in place.

The medical and mental health communities waged their responses to the coronavirus, lockdown, and quarantine by making more options available for people to participate in telehealth, such as video, chat, and telephone therapy. These virtual health options may make it easier for people experiencing the emotional effects of the coronavirus to receive support without worrying about leaving home and getting COVID-19.

However, some people may be confused about what rules, laws, and mandates apply to their area. Others may be receiving mixed messages about whether COVID-19 is subsiding or worsening. Families that have been under quarantine for weeks on end may have discovered the cracks in their foundation and seek professional emotional support.

How to pick up the pieces after the initial shock of COVID-19

For some, significant impacts of COVID-19 remain into 2023 and 2024, causing physical, financial, and emotional burdens. If this pandemic has impacted you, you're not alone. Several resources have been designed to help you recover and find support. 

An online search by keyword may provide you with contact information for local, state, and federal agencies offering support to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus on US citizens. You might also consider therapy if you struggle with emotional or chronic mental health concerns.  

Where to find support 

The providers and resources listed below have all made accommodations to their services to continue to provide virtual, distance, and no-contact-based services for Americans who may be under quarantine, lockdown, or shelter-in-place orders.

Find more resources in your local area by completing an online keyword search for the services or help you need. You can also get the latest updates on what is happening with your state, region, service providers, and more by following their handles or streams on social media. Follow updates on social media (from verified local, state, and federal resources) for the latest updates and happenings on the coronavirus.

The US Department of Labor 

The United States Department of Labor may continue to enact new policies and procedures to help people who have been impacted by the coronavirus. Resources from the United States Department of Labor are available, including information on federal unemployment insurance relief for people who have been financially affected by the coronavirus through job loss and layoffs and those directed to quarantine or shelter-in-place. The US Department is a federal agency that can also provide you with contact information for your state and local resources. Contact the USDOL by going to their coronavirus response page. 

The US Small Business Administration 

The United States Small Business Administration provides resources for small businesses and information on how to receive economic relief when affected by the coronavirus. The US Small Business Administration may offer financial assistance via the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance. You can also contact them directly on their website. 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline 

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a social services organization that provides counseling and support for survivors of domestic violence. This national agency operates a call center available to support individuals via chat, phone, and the Hotline website 24 hours a day. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-7233 or visiting their website. 

The National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI) 

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a social services agency that helps people with mental illness find support and treatment options for chronic mental health conditions. NAMI provides counseling resources, mental health education, and support services by phone from Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm EST. Contact NAMI at 1-800-950-6264 or by visiting their help page.

Additional Coronavirus resources and public health-related information

Below are additional resources to keep in mind 

Online therapy is a safe alternative to in-person counseling

Online therapy platforms 

Online therapy platforms like BetterHelp offer the chance to connect with licensed mental health professionals from home. You can talk to a professional therapist about your concerns, fears, and other questions about how the coronavirus impacts your life. 

Unlike traveling to a traditional in-person therapist's office, meeting with an online counselor doesn't require commuting or interacting with other people in a therapist's office building, so you may be less likely to expose yourself to COVID-19. You can connect with a provider online using phone, video, or live chat methods, and you can use other tools, such as online group sessions. 

Studies have also backed up the effectiveness of internet-based interventions since the COVID-19 pandemic. One study found that online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and internet-based eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) were significantly effective for those facing trauma during the pandemic. 55% of participants with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health challenges reported reduced trauma symptoms after treatment. 


Mental health treatments have risen significantly during the pandemic, particularly among young people. You're not alone if you're struggling with your mental health due to the pandemic and its unique impacts. Consider contacting a mental health provider online or in your area to get started.
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