The coronavirus pandemic is a “worst-case scenario” for Natalie, a Whitby, Ont., resident who was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as a child.

Global News has chosen to omit her last name to protect her privacy.

“I suffer from multiple OCD ‘themes’ but [the main two] that cause me the most distress are contamination and health,” Natalie, 31, said. “I’m on constant high alert and my mind never rests.”

Natalie isn’t alone — roughly one to two per cent of Canadians will have an episode of OCD in their lifetime, and around five per cent of the population will develop an anxiety disorder.

Such disorders can be overwhelming in normal circumstances, but a global emergency like the coronavirus pandemic can make them debilitating.

Since the virus arrived in Canada, Natalie has struggled to find peace.

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3:54Coronavirus outbreak: The life-and-death decisions doctors face

Coronavirus outbreak: The life-and-death decisions doctors face

She typically has difficulty untangling “normal” and “abnormal” ways to act.

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