How to Navigate Pandemic Pandemonium
Right now there is much uncertainty with what the future is looking like on community, national, and global scales. We hope to achieve in this post a sense of what coronavirus actually is, how to manage your anxiety, and what to do while you are in quarantined. Because this is a time of so much uncertainty, we implore you to use your best judgment of each situation, continue socially distancing, and try to stay safe, calm, and make informed decisions.
What Exactly is Covid-19?
Covid-19 is the name of the novel coronavirus that is currently causing the global pandemic. We wrote all about the coronavirus in this post. Coronavirus is a virus that attacks the upper respiratory tract. Symptoms include fever, a dry cough, and muscle aches. It is imperative that some people will not have any symptoms but are considered carriers in that they can still pass it on to others. If you think you may be infected it is important to isolate for about 14 days.
How to Reduce Transmission
There are many ways that you can reduce transmission if you currently have coronavirus, or if you are trying not to be a carrier. Firstly, make sure to not touch any of your mucus membranes on your face. This means do not try to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. These are the places that coronavirus can enter into your body and make you infected. Also important is to wash your hands, especially if you are someone who finds their self constantly touching their face. It is incredibly important to constantly wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for about 20 seconds. You can also time yourself while at the sink by singing happy birthday twice. Reducing transmission rates is incredibly important, not just for yourself, but for public health. It is important to remember that everyone is susceptible at contracting coronavirus; it does not discriminate amongst people.
The people who are most likely to become incredibly sick from coronavirus and die are those with heart conditions, respiratory ailments, pre-existing conditions, and the elderly. The easiest way to reduce transmission rates are to stay home, and to socially distance.
The Importance of Social Distancing
You have probably heard about social distancing on the news, in memes, from friends or family member about 100 times a day by now. But it is incredibly important not only in protecting yourself, but to make certain that the transmission rate is severely lowered. You may have heard that it is important to “flatten the curve”. This means that the lower rates of transmission, means that the less amount of people will contract coronavirus. Flattening the curve means that the overall number of people in your community will lower due to your successful social distancing and proactive health measures. Social distancing not only helps you and those around you, it lowers the transmission rate.
This means that by keep a distance of 6 feet to those around you. The distance of 6 feet was selected that in the case of coughing or sneezing, the virus will no travel more than that distance to potentially infect others. More research however needs to be done; but as of right now that is the accepted guideline for social distancing.
How to Manage Anxiety
It is understandable that this global pandemic is negatively affecting some people’s mental health. Below are a list of techniques to help manage anxiety:
- Breathing techniques, count down from ten and take a breath for each number
- Close your eyes for thirty seconds to a minute and image a place that makes you feel great; maybe its the sun on your face on a beach, or a cool breeze
- Surround yourself with things that feel soft, maybe a blanket, nice pillow
- If you have a pet, petting them will release dopamine and make you feel better
- Try to redirect your anxiety into a hobby you love like painting/ drawing/ baking/ writing poetry/ watching films
- Take 30 minutes to read before bed each night in an attempt to try to get a proper 8 hours of sleep for the night
- Write down anything that bothers you in a journal
- Take time to speak to family members or friends on the phone, or be text
- Potentially take a nap if you are feeling exhausted
- Make sure to take all of the medicine that you are prescribed at the right time
- Try to set up a phone call or a video session with your therapist if you can’t see them in person
- Try to eat well in that you limit the amount of processed foods and alcohol
- Try to stop smoking if you are currently a smoker
Things to Do While Quarantined
There are more things to do while quarantined than you may think! Below are a list of activities that you can do while in quarantined, and you may actually enjoy your time rather than feel trapped!
- Work from home if you are afforded that luxury – make sure that all of your business is taken care of and completed
- Get around to all of those errands that you have been putting off – maybe fold your laundry, wash your cloths, do the dishes, hang those pictures of art, build that cabinet that you said you would do about 4 months ago!
- Take up a new hobby like drawing, learning an instrument, practicing yoga from youtube tutorials, learning how to bake or cook your favorite food
- Take a walk around your neighborhood, and remember when you do this to social distance
- Listen to a new podcast series or find a great new program to watch on a streaming service
- Finish some outside projects including mowing, trimming hedges, gardening, watering your plants
- Try art; painting, drawing, writing, crocheting, knitting, macrame
Is there something that we didn’t list that you would like to add? Are there other tips to managing anxiety that we forget to write? Do you have any questions or concerns in regards to Covid-19 that would like us to address in another blog post? Are there other blog post topics that you would like to see us write in the future? Comment below!