Coronavirus is dominating the media. Fear is spreading faster than the virus itself. Shelves in corner shops have been emptied of hand sanitisers, schools are closing, and staff members are going into quarantine for two-weeks at a time.
Whilst fear is normal, we have to stay level-headed. 80% of cases recorded are mild, and you can easily recover from home. The majority of deaths from Coronavirus are elderly and those with preexisting health conditions.
Also, whilst it is a significant pandemic, Coronavirus is containable, whereas seasonal flu is not. Director general of WHO has said: “We don’t do contact-tracing for seasonal flu — but countries should do it for Covid-19, because it will prevent infections and save lives. Containment is possible.”
Furthermore, there are very specific symptoms: fever, dry cough, breathlessness. A sniffy nose and sore throat is probably a cold- so try not to worry.
The fear factor of Coronavirus is perhaps more damaging than the virus itself. The global economy has taken a hit, and “the last week of February saw the worst performance for major stock markets since the 2008 financial crisis.” (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51706225)
Factories in China have massively slowed down manufacturing, as workers have to stay at home. Whilst this may be a concern for global trade, it has had an unexpectedly positive effect on the environment. Nitrogen dioxide levels in the lower atmosphere have decreased significantly, as seen in the image below:
Coronavirus is actually helping reduce environmental damage. Humans have been forced to give the planet a breather. It's not all bad news!
Importantly, take time to assess your own mental wellbeing. If the Coronavirus is having a negative impact, here are some steps you can take (advised by mentalhealth.org.uk):
- Avoid rumour and speculation. Find reliable information so you can feel more in control- Gov.uk is a good place to start.
- Try to stay connected. At times like this technology can be our greatest resource. If you are quarantined or nervous to go out in public, start Face-timing friends and conference calling work. Don't isolate yourself mentally.
- Be selective about how you follow Coronavirus on social/popular media. Fear-mongering makes for a good story- don't believe everything you read.
- Stay productive. Working from home can be a fantastic opportunity to get organised. Establish a routine and keep a dedicated working space to maximise efficiency. Use time-management apps to help stick to your schedule and maintain regular hours.
- Don't self-isolate unless you absolutely need to! Public Health England (PHE) is advising people to self-isolate only under very specific circumstances: anyone waiting for Coronavirus test results, who has come into contact with a confirmed infected person, or is returning from a country significantly disrupted by the virus.
Look after yourselves, and try not to stress over things you cannot control.
By Grace Proctor,
Content Editor, Let's Reset.