Pandemic Level Anxiety and How to Cope

Photo of germs with the words “Coronavirus Anxiety”

I would pretty much say that I picked a great time to stop taking Clonopin! No, seriously though, I can say with all certainty that I could have chosen a time, any time, and there would be something that would invoke my anxiety. One cannot say though that there isn’t quite a bit of anxiety going around these days. From misinformation, an oversaturation of information everywhere and pretty much world-wide panic shopping, there’s a lot to digest.

Since I’m usually writing, researching or browsing online, I see a LOT of stuff about COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus, whatever they are calling it today. Sure, it’s an area of huge concern with so many thousands of people who have perished from it and the number of infections here in the U.S and the world rising every day. I don’t have any broadcast TV or cable, so I’m not seeing info through that medium as well. I will readily admit to being a worry wart about it though.

Meme with a background of masks, bread, toilet paper and supplies floating in the air and the words, “Coronavirus: Am I overreacting to the Anxiety?”

Well, the meme asks, “Am I overreacting to the Anxiety?”. If you don’t think you are and you feel that the information level you are dealing with is giving you facts you need and you don’t have any other issues with it like being unable to sleep, worry, crying, feelings of panic or having a panic attack, strong fears of doing anything you normally do, then maybe you’re OK. I watch WAY too much online content about it and make time to actually close social media and find something constructive to do that helps take my mind off things. Having diabetes as I do, I worry about having a compromised immune system, but to be honest, there really isn’t much I can do about it.

All the official, formal places to get information (and I’m NOT talking about the media!) like the CDC and the WHO, have comprehensive sites with quality information. With this in mind, I have prepared my home in a reasonable manner, with some supplies that supplement what I believe to be already adequate hygiene routines and stock up on a bit of canned goods and other things in case I do get ill or need to stay in for a while. While I don’t believe I will wind up in a quarantine situation, it’s truly not impossible. Worrying about whether I will or not certainly won’t help my anxiety, so I try not to do that.

What I won’t do is allow other people, whether it be friends, family or even strangers to get me upset about my own personal feelings about it. I believe that with any flu, cold or virus, people with compromised immune systems needs to take extra care when these things are widely circulating. When my mother was going through chemotherapy, she sometimes wore a mask when she went to crowded areas, however, I do not need to do any such thing and will not.

Picture of a meter with a red light and an arrow that says, “False POLITIFACT TRUTH-O-METER”

One thing that I am trying to do is, when I come across any pertinent information that seems suspicious or exaggerated, is to not buy into it and seek out a quality source instead. Visiting the CDC’s information page about the Coronavirus can provide good facts and help us to all avoid spreading or buying into incorrect information. Alternatively, the WHO has a fact filled page with regular updates to help you stay current. Additionally, you should at least check in with your local news to make sure that all the regular things you do: Work, school, doctor offices, public agencies etc, all are open and operating on a regular basis.

Myths and rumors abound in this day and age of instant pictures, posters and other info that can look “official” but could be a joke, satire or someone being irresponsible and thinking they are spreading good information, when they are not. The WHO also has a great myth busting page to check out for the latest facts.

No matter what you choose to do: Don’t panic. You, your loved ones and your friends will, in most cases, be just fine. You might wind up knowing someone who contracts it, or you may contract it yourself. Use good judgement, protect yourself and others the best you can and above all, take good care of yourself. Anxiety is a bitch. Sometimes you can’t help but worry, but try to limit yourself with constantly checking the news and updating yourself on new cases. I know because I’ve done this and it can ramp up your worry. Be aware, but not too much maybe? A lesson I can certainly learn for myself.

Cartoon character holding up sign that says, “Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself!”

2 thoughts on “Pandemic Level Anxiety and How to Cope”

  1. I haven’t seen any of the panic buying or any of that in my area. I dont go out much, so I dont worry too much. If a kootie is going to enter my house, it will come via Ben and he WILL share๐Ÿ™„ We are still trying to teach him basic hygiene ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ
    Hope your anxiety doesnt take over๐Ÿคž๐Ÿ’Œ


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