How Having OCD Mentally Prepared This Mom for COVID-19

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In 2018, when I was pregnant with my second child, I emailed a psychologist on Christmas Eve. While my husband, daughter, parents, sister and extended family were downstairs eating, enjoying the revelry of the holiday, I was camped out upstairs in my childhood room after washing my hands for the dozenth time.

My aunt and cousin had told us, upon arriving for the party that night, the reason my uncle didn’t come was because he had come down with a stomach virus. Hearing that news, my brain responded like this: If my uncle is sick, then my aunt and cousin likely are sick, or soon to be. If I touch them, or my toddler daughter hugs them, or if they brush up against my dress, or if we both touch the same serving spoon as we eat linguine and clams, then I too will get sick. And I am pregnant, and it’s Christmas, and what if, what if, what if.

Minutes after they arrived, I went…

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