Germaphobe Howie Mandel Reveals How He's Coping with the Coronavirus Pandemic

May 27, 2020

Howie Mandel is taking extra precautions to manage his OCD amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The "America's Got Talent" judge and noted germaphobe told Page Six that he’s been using therapy to cope with his obsessive compulsive disorder that includes mysophia, the pathological fear of germs and contamination.

“I’m on medication. I’m moving my therapist into a whole new tax bracket on the phone. Some people call it a pandemic, I call it ‘told ya!,” he told the publication.

“I felt responsible in the beginning for the shortage of PPE because I’d been hoarding gloves and masks and hazmat suits for the last 50 years but I’ve given them all away. I can’t wait for this to be over,” he added.

“I live freaked out,” he explained of his daily struggle. “This is what is in my head each and every day, every hour of my 64 years on earth. This is it. This is my nightmare, this is how I live and now the world has joined me in my nightmare. I hope we wake up and it’s just mine and not everyone’s. I take no solace in the fact that I was ahead of the curve.”

When the pandemic first began in mid-March, Howell was photographed wearing a hazmat suit on the set of the live taping.

The 64-year-old also wore a pair of orange gloves and had a baseball cap, which he carried in his hands.

“I don’t shake hands, not even fist bumping. I’ve taken it to another level,” he said explaining that he refrains from touching people altogether.

The talent show competition returned on Tuesday night to air episodes that were filmed three months ago.

Howell said the cast and crew lucked out because they filmed “95% of the auditions” prior to the pandemic shutting everything down. The remaining auditions were hosted online as contestants auditioned from home.

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