Italy is among several countries that began easing social distancing restrictions on Monday, including reopening factories, construction sites, hairdressers and libraries.

Others included Spain, Nigeria, Azerbaijan, Malaysia and Lebanon. And, several states in the United States began loosening lockdown restrictions.

More than 3.52 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally, and more than 240,000 have died.

The move by several countries to loosen restrictions suggests that the rate of infections may be starting to flatten.

Related discussion: Pandemic exposes health inequities in vulnerable communities

New Zealand and Australia said discussions are underway for the potential creation of a "travel bubble" between the two countries and in South Korea, shoppers and travelers crowded malls and beaches on the first long weekend since the country began easing curbs last month.

But, COVID-19 continues to cost lives, sicken millions and force physical distancing. And we may only be beginning to see the psychological impacts of the pandemic.

As part of a weekly series taking your questions to the experts, The World's Elana Gordon moderated a discussion with Dr. Karestan Koenen, professor of psychiatric epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

If you or a family member need assistance with a mental health or substance abuse problem, you can call:

SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-4357

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
 
You can also learn more about the weekly online forum about mental health and COVID-19 that Koenen and her colleagues host.

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