Anxiety expected during COVID-19 pandemic, but humans are resilient, CSU East Bay psychology professor says

WINDSOR, Calif. (KGO) -- Windsor in Sonoma County -- thoroughly charming and a borderline ghost-town these days.

If deserted scenes like this unnerve you amid COVID-19, trust that you're not alone.

''If the virus doesn't kill you?" we asked Lorene Romero.

"Then you may be out of a job.'

She had the double yellow line in Old Town Windsor all to herself.

Romero runs a travel agency, one among more than 100 non-essential businesses in a town facing 30 more days of quarantine, just like the rest of California.

We could have picked anyplace for this story, but Windsor has already been through a lot in the last year.

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A fire, an evacuation and then prolonged power shut-offs.

"With the KIncade fire we could see the flames coming. Not there is no green blob that goes on everyone to see if they are carrying the disease. It is invisible," Romero said.

We did see occasional people in downtown Windsor.

They have become reverse refugees getting away from their homes, but not their worries.

Mary and James Berkey, for instance.

"Most of the time we're okay. Movies make us cry these days," said Mary. "No one stops thinking about this. No one."

Not even at night.

"I'm a little angry because we had a chance," added James.

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"Every time I read where someone dies and all alone and that tears me up," Mary continued.

Sensing a flow? If COVID-19 has you feeling alone, take heart. You have company.

"There is an expected level of anxiety right now," said Dr. Michael Stanton. He is a professor of psychology at California State University, East Bay.

Our species has been through stuff like this before and survived, he told us.

"As a human race we have dealt with difficulty in the past, and we have shown resilience."

"Is it baked into our DNA?" ABC7's Wayne Freedman asked.

"Could be."

That is good to know as we face another 30 days feeling too close for comfort.
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