Most of have never had to think through things like we have had to do during this pandemic. In a recent webinar offered by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, U of M Associate Professor of Psychiatry Kaz Nelson said that feeling of a universal threat impacts the brain and how it works.

“When our brain resources are channeled onto dealing with some kind of crisis or threat, it is virtually impossible for the brain to take in new information or to analyze things or calculate or imagine different possibilities or integrate what should be plain in front of you,” said Nelson.

Nelson, an Honors graduate of the U of M in Morris now affiliated with the U of M Medical School, said that for many of us our brains are operating differently than we are used to, which could lead to increasing levels of stress. Even with social distancing measures, Nelson said many mental health professionals are still accessible remotely for appointments. The entire webinar can be accessed online for free at


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