DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Recent studies have brought to light “COVID anxiety syndrome,” a fear of either getting the virus or the repercussions it could have on society, even in people who’ve been vaccinated.

As more Americans get vaccinated and various health orders are lifted, some of that anxiety seems to stem from whether we’re ready to return to life pre-COVID. Dr. Nancy Pook, an emergency medicine physician with the Kettering Health Network, believes we need to gently break out of our comfort zone.

“If you are dealing with this chronic anxiety the best way to work through it is to take small steps. Steps that you think are safe, and move forward so you can become a more involved community member,” said Pook.

Pook said the fear emerging in some people could also stem from the new variants we’re discovering, along with misinformation on social media. Amanda Weinstein is fully vaccinated, but said she completely understands the fears people might have.

“For some people that might mean they’re not even comfortable going to a small dinner party at someone’s house, and that’s okay! Maybe you say ‘Let’s go on a walk around the neighborhood together,'” said Weinstein.

Weinstein and Pook both think people should move at their own pace, and not rush anything due to social pressures.

“That’s actually perfectly okay, that we all have different levels to risk aversion. I think we need to give people the space to deal with their own level of risk aversion,” said Weinstein.