It’s hard to stay away from social media and the news when we’re in the middle of a modern health crisis, but, how we react to what we’re seeing and the messages that are being conveyed to us, varies hugely. Some jump into action far quicker than others and begin preparing for isolation and lockdowns, while others downplay the significance of the reports and continue to carry on with their lives as normal, at least until they see proof of how the pandemic is affecting them in their corner of the world.
One often tragic emotional consequence of such a public health crisis is fear, and this can cripple or motivate, depending upon how certain news stories are reported or interpreted by individuals.
So, as you sit inside your home and watch the news, how can you reduce your anxiety and not panic as the pandemic spreads?
Research has shown that knowledge truly is power:
With a virus such as Covid-19, so little is known about it that it’s hard for it not to induce a fear of the unknown in the public. After all, if medical and public health officials can’t predict how it will spread or how it can be combated, how are we expected to protect ourselves?
This lack of knowledge about novel pathogens can quickly create panic among the public if left unchecked, and so, it becomes ever more important that we learn how to stay as calm as possible during the crisis.
This can be achieved by learning as much as we can about the virus from a variety of reputable sources and news outlets and ensuring that we don’t react instinctively to every scrap of news we hear, no matter where it comes from. Knowledge is power, and the more we can find out about what is known of the virus, the better equipped we are to cope physically and mentally with the pandemic.
How to prepare without panicking:
Media coverage of such a crisis can do one of two things, it can enlighten the public, or it can have the opposite effect and frighten us. While an element of fear is hard to eliminate, it’s vital that our fears don’t prevent us from acting in the best interests of ourselves and those around us. Social media and news channels must use effective communication strategies to help prevent mass hysteria and paranoia, and while they must take responsibility for how they convey the news, we as individuals must learn to filter what we see and hear and learn to analyze the news to glean the information that most helps us.
Credible information that is backed up by scientific research, and which gives a clear set of instructions to the public regarding details about a disease, can enable us to engage in effective preventative measures that don’t reduce us to fearful, anxious wrecks.
If you’re feeling anxious about the pandemic and have no one to turn to for help, please remember that our many qualified and professional counselors and therapists are available through tele-health to help calm you down, prevent you from panicking , and to give you real and sound advice about how to cope during the pandemic.
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