Northwestern doctor discusses how to deal with COVID anxiety as masks start to come off

CHICAGO (WLS) -- While it could be a while before the mask mandate is lifted in Illinois, some social settings no longer require them.

And while many can't wait to take them off, others may be reluctant to "unmask" or even harbor some fear of social situations that are returning.

Doctors say don't worry; this is common.

RELATED: COVID pandemic's mental health burden heaviest among young adults

Dr. Aderonke Pederson, an instructor of psychiatry and behavioral science at Northwestern University, joined ABC 7 Chicago Wednesday to talk about it.

"There is sometimes a divide between our logic and our emotions; both have their own validity. Right now, we know that two weeks after we get vaccinated, it is fine to gather with other fully vaccinated people according to the CDC," she said. "However, it is expected that many of us may struggle with the transition back to some form of in-person socialization."

Pederson said it's important to take baby steps and try exposure therapy when having concerns about post-COVID activities. She also said recovery takes time.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.