For those who are terrified by the COVID-19, here are some ideas that may help.
1. With Compassion, we must understand that many things have changed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). With so much unknown, it's easy to understand why people are overwhelmed, terrified, and fearful. Dealing with the amount of changing information, and the severity of the problem, people are feeling very vulnerable. There is a fear that we may fall ill, contaminate other, lose our jobs, and suffer financial losses. Rather than panic and freeze, we need to meet the challenges and function rationally.
2. To reduce anxiety and stress, we need to have Accurate Information. Find trusted sources such as: the CDC and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, MD. Be able to counteract the conspiracy paranoia of bio terrorism by the Chinese government or the CIA. Know that the Coronavirus is spread by sneezes in droplets.
3. Prevention. and Empowerment: Human emotions and behavior are based on our perception of an event, not necessarily the event itself. When we think we are powerless, we then tend to act helpless. Lack of control increases fear, which can compromise our immune system, which in turn may increase our vulnerability to infection. By focusing on what we can control, we can stay healthy, by following guidelines of coughing into a sleeve or tissue instead of your hand. Keeping a social distance of six feet, the basic rules are regular hand washing, wiping surfaces with disinfectant, and not touching your face. (COVID-19 virus droplets fall out of the air to the ground within six feet. The virus enters the body through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and eyes, but is killed by washing, Clorox, alcohol, Lysol, and ultraviolet light.)
4. Healthy Habits: Overeating and drinking should be verboten. Contrary, by eating fruits and vegetables, and getting lots of exercise our immune system and our mental health improves. Though we need to distance now for hygiene, social connections and relationships are healthy and must be maintained. (Face time, writing and the telephone work.)
5. Mitzvah therapy: The more we do for others, the more we have a purpose in our life and the better we feel. Call on seniors to be sure they are OK. Volunteer for Meals on Wheels; join the Caring Committee.
6. Relaxation. By practicing meditation, self- hypnosis, yoga, or prayer, we can calm our self when tense or anxious. Deep breathing exercise, music, and reading , can be used when fear, panic or anxiety escalates.
7. Mindfulness: Rather than being angry about what should have been done in the past, or obsessively worrying about an unknown future, focus on what is going on right now (in your body and mind) .
8. Positive Thinking and Gratitude. Each day write in your gratitude Journal something good that you did or witnessed. We have survived H1N1, SARS, and HIV. Note that there are many places returning to work and normalcy.