Have you avoided walking in the same aisle as someone at the store? You're not the only one.

Posted at 7:36 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 20:36:02-04

Businesses are starting to bounce back from the pandemic, but how are people doing mentally after so much change?

Health experts say the pandemic has left people with signs of trauma.

The COVID-19 pandemic has established new social norms, leaving people hyper-aware of who they come in contact with and how they shop.

"Not everybody respects that. Even though we're supposed to be doing these things, it isn't always possible," says Waco resident Marlena Baker.

Baker says she’s staying optimistic, but when it comes to groceries, she’s rather order online than set foot in a store.

"I'm nervous when I go out. I'm looking over my shoulder. it's kinda hard not to be afraid," says Baker.

"There is a hyper vigilance to your environment - how close are people standing to me, who might have touched this item before I've touched this item." says Dr. Emma Wood, a licensed clinical psychologist in Waco.

"As things reopen, there may be this relief - this run to health. Like okay things are fine again, but you may notice you're not sleeping well, or you may get nightmares, or you might be feeling keyed up or on edge," says Dr. Wood.

Dr. Wood says those are symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder or symptoms of an anxiety disorder brought on by traumatic events like the COVID-19 pandemic.

"When somebody has a normal life and all of the sudden control is taken from them, it feels very hopeless," says Dr. Wood.

Now, more than ever, it's just as important to get a check on your mental health, just as you would your physical one.

"Take the temperature of their emotional well being, check in with themselves because symptoms can develop over a period of time," says Dr. Wood.

If you feel you may be experiencing these symptoms of trauma, reach out to mental health professionals for help. Keeping things bottled in, could only add to the problem.