Psychologists explain the human need to gather for Memorial Day

Local News

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – This Memorial Day thousands of people gathered with their loved ones at parks and beaches.

“We are not built for social isolation and we are not built to feel lonely,” said Vittorio Puente a Psychologist at Mid Valley Behavioral & Health Psychological Services.

Humans seek social contact and interactions. Puente says there is a need to gather for holidays like Memorial Day.

“With social isolation your anxiety starts to increase to a mark of 9 out of 10, then you’re going to want to do something behaviorally in order to minimize that anxiety,” said Puente.

That’s exactly what many did on Memorial Day. Behavioral experts said it’s beneficial to see family and friends but they are advising to keep your distance in effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“When it comes to holidays people identify and prepare for a holiday as ‘I’m going to see my parents’ and they make plans for that and it makes everybody feel good, from a mental health perspective. Parents and children both benefit from spending quality time together,” said Joseph Garcia, Director at the South Texas Behavioral Hospital.

Garcia said as restrictions begin to loosen and more things open, people will react to the adjustments of post COVID differently.

“People will continue to try and keep safety in mind and will want to continue distancing for a certain amount of time, others might want to avoid large crowds completely.”

Garcia adds there are those who feel comfortable going back to normal gatherings, but is advising that people continue social distancing even if we are craving human interaction.

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