Coping with a life-long phobia of germs meant Peter Goffin was ready for the coronavirus pandemic. He knew how to observe hygiene rules, and he had the skills needed to prevent his anxieties growing out of control.

I was sitting on my kitchen floor, using disinfectant to wipe down a bag of cereal, when I had a revelation: I’ve spent almost 20 years practising for the coronavirus pandemic.

In my early teens, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). For nearly two-thirds of my life, I’ve agonised over germs, how they can be transferred, and how I can keep them at bay. And that puts me ahead of the curve when it comes to the types of precautions the world is now being told to observe.

Avoiding

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