You & Your Friends Are Vaccinated. So Why Is Socializing Again Scary?

Heather Gould, a wedding planner in Sonoma, Calif., always had some social anxiety.

Before the pandemic, she’d feel queasy and think twice about going out. But Gould would power through, talking her way through industry events and client meetings without tipping off her insecurities.

But now, after more than a year of interacting only with her closest friends and family, the challenges she conquered before feel unbearable now.

“I had one of my first in-person client meetings a month ago,” she said. “I was so nervous, I had to put CBD cream on because I was shaking in my boots. I literally had to have a talk with myself and say, you just have to get back in the saddle and start doing this stuff again, and you’ll get better. And it’s kind of been that same feeling every time I’ve had to go to a meeting now.”