It's been 11 months since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Madison County. For some, it means 11 months of very little, or no social interaction.
Erin Woods and her family take the coronavirus precautions very seriously and limit their social interactions to basically just her kids going to school. Well, her oldest son was directly exposed at school and is now in quarantine. Woods said staying at home makes them both feel trapped.
"That anxiety just builds and builds, and you just feel locked up," she said.
Woods said since the pandemic began, she feels her anxiety growing insider her every time she leaves the comfort of her house.
“The impact on mental health being stuck in your house all the time, it’s like, when do I take care of my mental health at the risk of going out there?”
Her oldest son was exposed to the virus at school and is finishing out the required quarantine time before going back to in-person school. Woods said being kept away from people your own age isn't just hard for her son.
"That isolation is so bad. We are, as humans, we are social creatures. I’m a very social person, I don’t like to sit at home and it’s been, I mean, it’s been very hard," said Woods.
Clinical counselor Dr. David Barnhart said Woods is not alone feeling this way. He said you can still get the social interactions you need if you follow CDC guidelines.
“Sometimes, when our anxiety is really high, we won’t do things that we probably could do just fine. Generally speaking, you could put on a mask," said Barnhart.
Both Woods and Barnhart suggest getting out of the house in some way if you are self-isolating and feel your mental health starting to take a turn.