4 Ways To Conquer The Coronavirus Panic

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

It’s a tough time to be an entertainment fan.

Clearly as you can see, the severity of the coronavirus outbreak is affecting all facets of life. Everything is being geared towards our current norm, social distancing. For those of us who love entertainment, it feels like for now, the industry is drying up. The film and TV industry are shutting down productions out of an abundance of caution for casts and crews. Film premieres and film festivals have been cancelled to avoid spreading the virus among large crowds, and theatrical releases are also being put aside to keep the virus at bay.

So, in short, things are weird right now, and when things are weird, that’s when people panic (and apparently resort to xenophobia and racism). So if you are reading this and you’re unprepared and anxious, here’s how you can protect yourself and your family.

1. Check the CDC

Before I give all of my anecdotal advice, I’d highly recommend you check the CDC for proper tips on how to get the folks in your home prepared for coronavirus season. They are the experts, not me, so check out their page with helpful tips and links that will get you up-to-date on what you need to do.

2. Don’t resort to racism

Now, I’m sure a lot of my readers haven’t done this, but if you know someone who has the propensity to resort to the worst type of mindsets when the unknown presents itself, tell them to cool their jets.

Because the coronavirus’ epicenter was in Wuhan, China, people– Americans in particular–began to exhibit the worst xenophobia against Asian Americans I’ve seen in a long time. From vacating Chinatown businesses to verbally and physically attacking Asian Americans in the streets, folks have been using the coronavirus as an excuse to be racist. The media hasn’t helped matters by showcasing pictures of Asian people when talking about the virus. Unfortunately, the racism has gotten so bad that the CDC had to write on their website that Asian-American people don’t carry the virus just because of their race.

So what can we do? HR website SHRM has some tips for how workplaces can win the battle against racism. I think these tips can be used for everyday life as well.

Intervention can include:

  • Standing between a targeted individual and a hostile person to create a physical separation.
  • Distracting the harasser while the individual who is singled out is escorted to safety.
  • Speaking up and saying that hostile behavior is not acceptable in the workplace. When someone is flippant or makes a joke about COVID-19, APALA said, speak up and say something such as “That’s not funny. And that is not how the virus actually works.”
  • Recording details of the incident, including date, time and location. It suggests obtaining permission from the victim to report the incident at www.standagainsthatred.org.

credit: SHRM.org

3. Get the facts

Let’s be very clear: the coronavirus isn’t the 12 Monkeys apocalypse lots of folks seem to pretend that it is. From my understanding, the coronavirus is simply a new, more aggressive version within the coronavirus family. Indeed, “coronavirus” is the name for viruses that cause things we already get, such as the common cold, so even though we’ve been calling this new virus “coronavirus,” this new virus is actually still unnamed.

Despite it being more aggressive, the coronavirus is extremely far away from being something as scary as, say, ebola. On the scale of deadly viruses, the coronavirus is still in the general realm of common colds, flus, and pneumonia. While the virus is considered worse than the flu, the World Health Organization state (according to Essence, below) that four in five people who are infected with coronavirus will only experience mild symptoms, like a fever and dry cough, and about 95 percent of people who have had the virus have recovered or are in the process of recovering. This means that more than likely that if you catch the virus, it is presumed you will get better. Key word: MORE THAN LIKELY. While that means you will probably be okay (and in some anecdotal cases, might just believe you have a bad flu), there are, of course, those cases where people who are otherwise fit and with great immune systems get dangerously sick. So while it’s best to not take the virus for granted, feel comforted in the fact that the general probability for recovery is very high and, in most cases, expected.

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So with that said, most of the same rules you apply to those common viruses apply to this coronavirus, such as cleanliness and prevention, seem to apply. This goes double if you are someone who has a compromised immune system, elderly, or very young.  Be vigilant, but use your energy to fuel a proper, actionable response instead of giving in to excess anxiety.

For instance, make sure your house is stocked with bleach, hand sanitizer, soap, and other cleansers you feel you might need to keep your area sanitized. Wash your hands (including under your nails) for 20 seconds to get your hands as clean as possible. Call your doctor if you need medical information or in the case of if you suspect you have the virus. If you get anxiety from fears of infections, talk to a respected family member or friend to get some guidance and support.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Along with visiting the CDC link above, check out these posts from my Instagram that give more information on the virus.

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So much misinformation is fueling excessive panic about the #coronavirus. Instead of making yourself even more afraid, arm yourself with facts! The first fact: WASH YOUR HANDS! Keep surfaces in your home clean, and call the doctor if you feel like you have the strangest cold ever. In the extreme case of quarantine, keep your home stocked with supplies and food. And throughout all of that, learn the actual facts about the coronavirus, which is that it’s not automatically a death sentence–it is simply a new version of a strain that we’ve already had contact with through the common cold. ⠀ ⠀ Some stats from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf ⠀ ⠀ More stats from the Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/expert-answers/novel-coronavirus/faq-20478727 ⠀ ⠀ https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/symptoms-causes/syc-20479963 ⠀ ⠀ A good post on why some in America are resorting to freaking out: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/03/12/coronavirus-fear-psychology-powerlessness-toilet-paper-sanitizer/5010095002/ ⠀ ⠀ And lastly, VOTE! One of the main reasons America is losing their mind is because Trump is no leader. If you want to feel more confident in our government and president, VOTE DEMOCRAT THIS NOVEMBER!⠀ ⠀ #health #America #cleanliness #pandemic #pandemicpreparedness #politics #election2020 #election

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Posted @withregram • @likeyoupod I referenced this Fred Rogers quote in our episode about coronavirus. Creating an environment where your kids know they can talk to you about anything is important. Speak honestly, and be sure to listen. It is ok to not have the answers. It is ok to say “I don’t know.” Your kids just want to know they are being heard. The most important thing is for them to know they are not alone. #likeyou #children #mindfulnessforkids #podcastforkids #podcastlife #podcastersofinstagram #kidsofinstagram #dadlife #momlife #mindfulkids #mindfulness #earlychildhood #earlychildhoodeducation #socialemotionallearning #parenting #kidslife #kidspodcast #mindfulparenting #podcast #childrenspodcast #childhoodunplugged #unpluggedchildhood #mindfulnesspodcast #meditationforkids #relaxation

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4. Go to the grocery store

Yes, the coronavirus isn’t the beginning of the living dead, and granted, we aren’t supposed to be creating large crowds, and that’s exactly what the grocery store frenzies we’ve seen online can cause. But, you have to make sure you have enough to eat, since folks are buying up stuff as if it’s the zombie apocalypse. You don’t want to be out here starving for the entire two-week period of self-isolation and social distancing.

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So do what you can to get out to the store and buy your food and supplies. If your grocery stores are emptying out like the ones around me have, you might have to get what you can find. I can tell you from experience that after my family and I went to both Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart to buy the bulk of our groceries, we were shocked at how people were buying things left and right. The toilet paper and paper towel aisles were bare—why, I don’t know. Also bare: the bread aisle. My favorite brand of coffee was gone. Those are just a few of the atrocities experienced while shopping in the dead of the night.

This mad dash exposes one of the flaws of capitalism—the folks who can buy up everything are the ones with enough income to do so. Despite the wealth gap widening to the extreme, middle class Americans are still among the lucky ones who are able to even think about mobilizing to the grocery store to buy everything in sight. If you want to help families who don’t have the means to access food and clean water during this time, check out Save The Children’s coronavirus response fund and No Kid Hungry’s action page, where you can write to Congress, donate, and more. Also make sure to do some research around your area about how you can support families near you.

5. Make the best of a tough situation

If your someone who gets in a bad mental place by sitting at home, use this time in a productive way. For instance, I’m using my reduced work hours and the statewide “social distancing” time period of 2 and ½ weeks to work on this website, the finer parts of my career, and to prepare more promotional materials for my book. I’m also using it as a good time to keep my weight loss goals going. You can use this time to work on your goals, spend time with family and friends, write that book, paint that art piece, whatever it is that keeps your mind busy and active.

Whatever you do, don’t spend this time looking up every story about the coronavirus, especially if you’re an anxious person. I know from experience how addictive the rush of anxiety and adrenaline can be, and you can get caught up if you’re not careful. Instead, keep your mind on easier things by doing what I mentioned above or by watching your favorite movies or TV shows (I wrote a recommendation list on Shadow And Act), solving puzzles or playing video games, or doing what my dad is doing and spending time outside—rebuilding his garden for the spring.

Below are some links from The Conversation to even more information about how you can educate, support, and protect your family about the coronavirus. We can and will get through this current climate of panic. Just keep your head down, focus, and stay in a positive, action-oriented mindset.

7 science-based strategies to cope with coronavirus anxiety

Coronavirus: The latest disease to fuel mistrust, fear and racism

What really works to keep coronavirus away? 4 questions answered by a public health professional

Social distancing: What it is and why it’s the best tool we have to fight the coronavirus