‘Virulent microbes everywhere’: how can anxious people fend off reopening panic?

Re-emerging from lockdown can feel fraught with danger, especially for people with a history of anxiety

I recently took my first flight since the pandemic began. As I arrived at the airport, I prepared for a scene of utter carnage: people everywhere, all of them insisting on breathing; virulent microbes reveling in a field of unsuspecting targets.

As someone with a history of anxiety, I took a deep breath – figuring it would be my last opportunity to do so before landing – and entered the fray.

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