This post is includes general advice to better understand the coronavirus, and a list of suggestions to stay safe, calm, and to help ride out this storm.
Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that are typically mild, such as some cases of the common cold (among other possible causes, predominantly rhinoviruses), though rarer forms can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.
The coronavirus disease 2019, referred to as COVID-19, originated in Wuhan in Hubei, China, and has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
At the time of writing this post there are 155,800 cases, 5,800 deaths, and 74,000 recoveries. The numbers are all expected to continue to increase in the upcoming weeks and months, and it is likely they will increase an an exponential rate until it reaches a peak, and then will continue to decline until the pandemic is over.
We should be taking this very seriously, however, we should not cause unnecessary panic or stress to ourselves or others if it can be avoided. Preparation and wisdom is the key mindset to adopt.
- Wash hands – using soap and hot water to wash hands for around 20 seconds.
- Social distancing – reduce close contact between people for the time being. Read more here.
- Sneeze into elbow.
- Avoid touching face as much as possible.
- If you feel unwell, especially with a high temperature, persistent cough, you should either stay home, or consider visiting your doctor. If in doubt, check local advice.
- Do’s and Don’ts of hand washing – https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-dos-and-donts-of-handwashing-11583952006
- Not everyone you know is going to be affected or die, but you should be extra kind to others during this time regardless of what happens.
It is important to maintain an optimistic yet positive mindset during this time to reduce unnecessary worry, anxiety and panic. Here are a few mindsets to consider during this time:
- We are all in this together.
- Many have recovered already, and many will not be affected by it.
- All bad things, including pandemics have the opportunity to make us love each other, ourselves and life more.
- Petty arguments and worries become less relevant and important during times of crises.
- If you cannot be loving and helpful in a crisis, then when can you.
- Those who survive may develop an increased appreciation for life.
Scientists are working on vaccines, which hopefully will be available soon:
Here are a few links to check out for ways of dealing with anxiety:
- Anxiety: an overview and ways to treat it
Stress can inhibit our bodies’ ability to fight off infections. Some stress is healthy, but too little and we may not take the right actions, and too much makes us more vulnerable.
From the following article on stress and the immune system:
When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections.
The stress hormone corticosteroid can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system (e.g. lowers the number of lymphocytes).
Stress can also have an indirect effect on the immune system as a person may use unhealthy behavioural coping strategies to reduce their stress, such as drinking and smoking.
These activities are more for those who have been advised to stay at home for some time.
- Read books
- Listen to Podcasts
- Listen to Music (especially relaxing music)
- Watch some films
- Play some games
- Writing – books, articles, poetry, blog posts.
- Comedy – films, videos, memes.
- Activism – do something constructive, such as online activism, or some form of volunteering if you can.
- Statistics: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
- NHS advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Travel bans: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/coronavirus-travel-bans/index.html
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” ~Vivian Greene
“This too shall pass.” ~ Persian Adage
“Worrying does not accomplish anything. Even if you worry twenty times more, it will not change the situation of the world. In fact, your anxiety will only make things worse. Even though things are not as we would like, we can still be content, knowing we are trying our best and will continue to do so.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” ~ Jennifer Dukes Lee
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~ Ian Maclaren
For those who need extra help dealing with anxiety and stress, consider checking out this ‘Beat Anxiety’ package http://luxbellator.com/primus-animo/