I've spent years taming the OCD monster. Coronavirus has ruined everything

I’d come to think of myself as a sad wizard, burdened with rituals to prevent catastrophes. Then the pandemic made those threats real

For many of us, coronavirus has inspired a bit of a germ obsession. We wash our hands until they’re chapped. We see other people as potential vectors. We wipe down our groceries with Lysol, apparently having decided that, if it comes to it, we’d rather die of disinfectant poisoning than a virus.

In our efforts not to contract Covid-19, many of us are getting a taste of a different kind of illness: obsessive-compulsive disorder. And for some who have spent years learning to cope with OCD, the latest crisis is undermining everything we’ve learned about our own brains.

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