You can't turn on the television or radio or jump onto social media without seeing something about the coronavirus pop up. There are jokes, questions, rants, & everything in between. And, whether you believe it is all fear-mongering or totally true, the fact is, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV–2) — the name of the virus that CAUSES coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — is totally real & is definitely spreading. But, still, we do not need to be afraid. There are things we can do to keep coronavirus fear away.
1). Keep coronavirus fear away by educating yourself.
Don't bury your head in the sand & pretend this whole thing isn't happening. That's just as fear-inducing as acting like the coronavirus disease is going to kill off your entire family.
Refrain from either extreme by learning what the coronavirus really is (like the fact it's a virus, originating in China, that likely came from bats). Make an effort to know preventative measures, but also what the symptoms really are & what to do if you or someone you know does get sick.
2). Wash your hands!
I sincerely hope you're doing this anyway. But, it's even more important during times like this. Use hot water & soap for 20 seconds or more. And wash them frequently — whenever you've eaten or are about to eat, have used the restroom, touched your face, or have been in contact with public surfaces or other people.
If you do not have access to soap & water & the need to wash your hands arises, use a hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol or more. But, seriously, don't go overboard with that stuff, y'all. Use the good old soap & water whenever possible, y'know?
3). Summon your inner introvert.
Sorry! I couldn't help myself! Have you seen the meme floating around Facebook? It goes something like this:
CDC: Avoid crowds whenever possible.
Introverts: I have been preparing for this My. Whole. Life!
ANYWAY, if the coronavirus has made its appearance in YOUR community, stay home whenever possible. Ask to work from home if your job will allow. Do your classes online. Order your groceries instead of going to the store. Make a phone call or video chat instead of seeing people in person. That sort of thing.
4). Stock up on supplies.
I think this one is a good idea — coronavirus on the loose or not. But, seriously. From what I can tell, the coronavirus disease is really no worse than the flu. Arguably, it's LESS troublesome than the flu, except for the fact there's no vaccine for it yet & hasn't been around long enough for us to know ALL of its ins & outs.
However, because it's so unknown, more people are likely to catch it AND more people are likely to panic about it. AND, it's more likely to happen all at once. So, schools & factories can shut down. Health care facilities can be overwhelmed. Local stores can run out of certain supplies because of people needing them more (or panicking & overstocking on them).
So, think about what you might need for a prolonged stay at home — whether it's due to a quarantine, or simply because school is canceled for a bit & you just need to stay in. Is your pantry & freezer full? Basic first aid supplies & water? Toiletries? That sort of thing.
Don't go overboard. You don't need months worth of stuff. A few days to two weeks is plenty unless you're already in the habit of stocking more…
5). Do NOT go to the doctor.
Look, if you wouldn't normally go to the doctor for it, don't go for it now. Leave the health care resources OPEN for those who really do need it. Don't feed into the fear. And don't expose yourself to other people's crud — coronavirus or not — by heading to where all the sick people are!
The coronavirus symptoms are very similar to flu symptoms. Most people who do get the coronavirus disease are said to be able to self-quarantine themselves at home & let it pass normally. Ibuprofen, fluids, & rest.
If you really feel like you need your doctor's advice, CALL FIRST & get a phone assessment before burdening the office — & yourself & others — with whatever it is you do have.
6). Reschedule non-essential travel.
Think about it: Crowded airports or transfer stations. Enclosed cruise ships or airplanes or trains. Public areas where people are coming & going from anywhere in the world, for all you know.
If you can help it, don't add to the alarm or the potential spread — especially if you're worried about it. Just don't add to your anxiety if that's where your brain is already going. There's no need.
7). Skip the masks.
If you're not sick or caring for someone who is, you do not need a face mask. Everyone purchasing masks is going to create a shortage for those who really need them. Besides, they are only going to minimally protect you from contracting a virus if you don't have it already. But, they can do wonders to prevent you from spreading it around if you are the one who is sick.
8). Keep your stuff to yourself.
If you need to sneeze or cough, cover it. Don't use your hand either, please. Use the crook of your elbow or a tissue to prevent the spread of your saliva. Wash your hands & sanitize your belongings before passing them off to others whether you are sick or not.
9). Shop remotely.
Hello, Amazon! Grocery delivery or quick pick-up. Online shopping. Utilize it! If you find you need something, see if you can purchase it without having to go to the store (i.e. around other people), consider doing so.
10). Share the knowledge.
Instead of feeding into the FEAR, share the facts. Be calm, yet aware & prepared. That's my take, anyway — & that's coming from someone who is striken with anxiety more often than not. Keep coronavirus fear away by squashing the myths & helping to educate instead. Share this post & let me know reputable sites I should link to in order to back up these claims.
What else should be listed here to keep coronavirus fear away?
Comment below or contact me. I'd be happy to update this post. Mental health is important. And, even if you haven't struggled with mental health issues before facing something like this, the anxiety over wondering what may or may not happen still counts. Do what you need to do to keep coronavirus fear away from you & your family — & educate others while you're at it.