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Finding the Tri-State’s new normal

"The Rebound: Finding a New Normal" includes reports that will run throughout all of WCPO 9 News' broadcasts on Thursday, July 8.

As COVID-19 cases across the Tri-State continue to decline and more of us get vaccinated, you may be excited about re-entering the world. Or, you might be feeling nervous, or maybe somewhere in between.

Whatever you're feeling, WCPO 9 has devoted a full day of coverage trying to pinpoint what our "new normal" might look like once we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

Family reunion

Perhaps one of the most profound impacts of the pandemic has been, for some, spending months or more than a year away from even their closest family members.

WCPO reporter and anchor Kristen Swilley looked at what families can do to make sure they remain safe as they begin to reunite and also spoke with a family psychiatrist who explained how, for some, the prospect of returning to family obligations can feel draining.

Back to work

Another question for the thousands of workers who have worked from home for the last year and a half: Do I have to go back to the office? Reporter Lisa Smith spoke with a legal expert to determine what office workers' options are and what employers are legally allowed to require as health orders and social distancing recommendations lift.

Consumer reporter John Matarese also has these tips for how to talk to your employer about establishing a more flexible schedule that could allow for more time at home.

With so many beginning to go back to work and summer break upon us, child care will become a whole new kind of challenge. Reporter Monique John explores how, while parents are scrambling to find child care as they return to work, providers are also tasked with persistently making adjustments and innovations prompted by the strains and limitations of the ongoing pandemic.

And it's not just children workers whom will be leaving at home: Reporter Whitney Miller takes a closer look at what pet owners can do to make sure humans' return to work isn't too traumatic for our four-legged friends.

Seeing a new world

It's not just work and family life that will balance into a new normal: With travel restrictions easing all around the world, many are engaging in what some are calling "revenge travel" — taking a trip for the trip's sake, since it's been more than a year since many have had the chance to do so. Anchor and reporter Evan Millward walks through what travelers need to know as different states and countries — and modes of transportation — have different rules.

Not out of the woods yet

With all this in mind, though, it's also critical to remember that, while Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana have lifted virtually all health orders and business and social restrictions, COVID-19 is not gone from our lives.

Some industries — most notably the restaurant and bar sectors — are still struggling to rebound from more than a year of tight restrictions on their business. Reporter Brian Mains looks at how your favorite bar or bistro is probably still fighting shortages in both staff and supplies, even as more and more are going back out to eat.

And for people like WCPO alumnus and comedian Michael Flannery, the fight to recovery from his severe case of the disease is still ongoing. WCPO anchor Julie O'Neill held a touching interview with her former colleague and life-long friend — who is what some are calling COVID "long-haulers" — in which he described his "invisible syndrome" that came from spending six days in a medically induced coma and a month away from his family and his home.

For WCPO's full coverage of "The Rebound," click or tap here.

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