Anxious about Coronavirus? How to cope with stress and fears


Coronavirus

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As the new coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, you might be very concerned, worried, and even anxious. Feeling that way is certainly understandable and you are not alone.

From the end of December 2019, we have been reading more about the Coronavirus to stay educated and informed about it. However, the severity of this novel virus can make anyone feel very concerned if not, panicky.

If your nervousness is worsening in regards to the Covid-19, know that there are lots of people who feel the same. We can show you ways to help you remain calm. It is OK to feel a bit worried. However, don’t make the mistake and let your fears control your life.

Therefore, we decided to share some tips on how to manage your anxiety and panic attacks while you stay informed.

You will learn more about the Covid-19, its symptoms, how to protect yourself and your dear ones, and more.

If you are wondering if we are in a Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, your doubts will be clarified. But first, we will talk about this new virus to help you understand it.

What is the Coronavirus or Covid-19

According to the World Health Organization, Coronavirus is a family of viruses found in humans and animals. These viruses, discovered in the 1960s, can range from a common cold to more severe diseases. There are 7 different types of this virus, although we will cover the most recent one.

They include SARS or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, recognized in February 2003, and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

The new name for this strain that has its origins in Wuhan, China, and reported in December 2019, is Covid-19 or Coronavirus disease 2019, formerly called 2019-nCoV.

As we speak, according to the World Health Organization website Q&A, “The animal source of the 2019-nCoV has not yet been identified.” Also, the Center for Disease Control states that the novel coronavirus, at first was linked to “large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread.”

However, a number of patients have not had exposure to the animal market which means that they must have gotten it from other people either in China, the US, and other countries.

As of today, Covid-19 deaths are more than 16,000 with more than 380,000 cases worldwide with more than 300,000 cases outside China and rising.

As of today, no vaccine, treatment, or cure has been found for Covid-19.

Update 12/21/2020:

Since this article was published, infections have increased. You can see total cases by visiting the John Hopkins Hospital Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) Coronavirus Dashboard. They have a mobile version and a desktop version.

There are currectly two RNA or mRNA vaccines approved. FDA “issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA)” for the Pfizer vaccine on December 11, 2020.

Also, on December 18, 2020, the mentioned agency approved an EUA for the Moderna Vaccine which was developed in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

History of pandemics

Diseases always existed since the beginning of time. Leprosy, malaria, influenza, and other illnesses appeared around 10,000 years ago.

Years later, human civilization brought new ways of communication, interaction, and social development. However, epidemics and pandemics were also part of impacting entire societies and change the course of mankind’s history.

We will not cover all the deadly pandemics but we can explain three of the most devastating ones.  For example, the Plague of Justinian affected the Byzantine Empire 541-542 AD and killed 25-50 million people. The origin was Yersinia Pestis, a bacterium that causes the disease plague and the same one that would spread during the Bubonic Plague.

In the mid-1300, the Black Death or Bubonic Plague killed approximately 200 million people from 3 continents, Europe, Africa, and Asia. It was carried by the rodents fleas. Also, the 1918 flu pandemic killed an estimated 50 million. This virus was derived from birds or avian origin.

Now, we will discuss the Coravirus disease 2019 symptoms to help you understand it more.

Coronavirus or Covid-19 symptoms

The symptoms can range from mild ones to more severe cases. According to the Center for Disease Control, symptoms are fever, coughs, and shortness of breath and the incubation period can be from 2 to 14 days.

However, according to a study posted on Sunday, February 9, 2020, the incubation period was from 0 to 24 days. This clinical study used 1,099 patients. You can see the research here. Please keep in mind that according to MedRixv, this report was not reviewed at the time of this publication.

Other symptoms may include runny nose and sore throat. People with pre-existing conditions, the elderly, smokers, and those of low immune systems may be vulnerable. It can lead to breathing problems, pneumonia, and death.

If you have traveled recently, you have been in contact with an affected individual or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, we would suggest you follow this CDC link.

How do you contract the Covid-19?

According to the CDC, Covid-19 is transmitted from person to person in close contact within 6 feet. When the affected individual sneezes or coughs via respiratory droplets that can land in the mouth or eyes. they can also be inhaled into the lungs.

It can also be spread by touching an infected surface or object and touch the mouth, nose or eyes. According to a scientific research from the Journal of Hospital Infection in Germany, coronaviruses such as SARS, MERS, and the new Covid-19 “can persist on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days, but can be efficiently inactivated by surface disinfection procedures with 62-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite within 1 minute.” You can see the full study here.

The U.S. CDC states on its website that Covid-19 can be spread “before people show symptoms”. That’s what makes this virus complicated and difficult to understand.

Are we in a pandemic?

On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the Novel Coronavirus or Covid-19 a global emergency because the virus has a high risk to spread to countries that are not prepared to cope with the situation.

The Covid-19 has expanded to broader areas of China, other countries such as South Korea, Italy, Japan, Iran, and others since was it reported.

According to the World Health Organization, a pandemic is a “worldwide spread of a new disease”.

Although the WHO has not declared a pandemic yet, Nancy Messonier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in the United States, said in a press release on February 25th that “we expect we will see community spread in this country.” She also said that it is not if but when.

On February 28th, the World Health Organization raised Coronavirus risk to the “highest level of alert”. However, as of Monday, March 9th, they stated that “the threat of a pandemic has become very real.”

However, on 12 March 2020, WHO declared the Corovirus Covis-19 a pandemic due to “alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction”. You can find the media briefing and transcript in this WHO link.

Although you may feel anxious around the coronavirus Covid-19 for you, we will show you how to remain calm and help your dear ones cope with the situation.

How to protect yourself from Covid-19

Even if you are not located in an area where most of the cases are reported, you can still do something to prevent contracting the virus.

As an important part of your hygiene, the CDC recommends washing your hands frequently. Make sure you lather and scrub the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails for at least 20 seconds with soap.

When to wash your hands to prevent spreading germs?

  • When you are preparing food (before, during and after)
  • Before eating any meals
  • When you are treating a cut and caring for someone who is sick (before and after)
  • You should wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, going to the restroom, changing diapers or cleaning up a kid who has gone to the toilet. dealing with garbage, touching an animal, pet food or waste

For more information, you can access the CDC handwashing guide in this link.

What else you can do to protect yourself and others from the Coronavirus?

It is very important that you cover your mouth and nose when you are sneezing and coughing. Use a tissue or your bent arm. If your area is at risk avoid crowded places and avoid close contact with someone who is sick with the virus. Also, do not touch your face, eyes, nose, and mouth.

You can also use a sanitizer after washing your hands -or if you cannot wash them- like Purell advanced sanitizer variety pack of 8 (See this effective product on Amazon) that you can easily attach to backpacks, purse, baby bags, key chains, gym bags and more. A 36 pack is also available. As per the manufacturer, it is gentle on the skin and is EcoLogo certified for its 93% Biobased content, made with naturally renewable alcohol, called ethyl or ethanol) that can be obtained from plants.

If you don’t like the smell of alcohol, Durisan Hand Sanitizer Travel Size – Pack of 6 is another alternative. This product is free of alcohol, water-based, and odorless. According to the manufacturer, it contains benzalkonium chloride which does not cause any burning sensation when applied to broken skin. Also, it is not flammable and non-toxic. 

Do you prefer a sanitizer that not only meets the United States CDC and WHO guidelines but also Meets OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standards? Try Clorox Hand Sanitizer Spray without bleach which contains 71% ethyl alcohol, it is fast-dry and keeps your hands soft.

Coronavirus fears: What you can do for now?

If you feel nervous or anxious about the Covid-19 coronavirus, you are not alone. It is normal to wonder what can happen in the next couple of weeks.

However, staying informed is a great way to cope with stress. Stay busy, distract yourself, and have time to chill to help you remain calm and prevent panic attacks.

This is what you can do to help you manage stress around coronavirus

  • Stay well informed. Go to the facts. Go to the Center for Disease Control website or unbiased source of information. Beware of fake sites in social media. Verify anything you hear that makes you feel worried.
  • Do not assume. Very important to keep in mind that not everyone who is coughing doesn’t necessarily have the Covid-19
  • Talk to some you trust about how you feel. It is always great to speak especially if you are panicky or anxious over the coronavirus. This will make you stay calm and think clearly.
  • Eat healthily and exercise. We can’t anticipate the extent of how bad it will be. Therefore, keeping a good and strong immune system will help you fight anxiety and panic attacks more effectively
  • Don’t read or see upsetting news. While it is advisable to stay informed, it is best to limit your time in front of the TV or the internet and don’t become obsessive about it.
  • Don’t use alcohol or drugs. They can worsen your anxiety which can lead to a panic attack. Watch relaxing videos to help you distract your mind or deal with your feelings.
  • Clean any surfaces frequently. The CDC recommends “use a bleach-and-water solution or disinfectant with a label that says “EPA approved” for killing bacteria and viruses.” It will help lower the amount of virus that can be spread.
  • Speak to your doctor or mental health professional. Looking for help is a smart way to fight any anxieties or panic attacks if nothing is working for you.

How to prevent your children from being anxious about the coronavirus?

Your kids may feel worried more than you can imagine. These tips can help you help a child manage their stress during the Covid-19 outbreak.

  • Support them. They may feel anxious, angry, upset, and nervous over the events surrounding the coronavirus. Listen to them and put yourself in their shoes. Give them extra doses of love and attention. Help them relax by playing and keep them distracted.
  • Explain what is going on. Provide your children with facts depending on their age and teach them how they can prevent the Covid-19 (e.g washing their hands, how to cover their mouths when they cough, etc). And most importantly, lead by example.
  • Help them stay healthy. A variety of fruits and vegetables will help them keep a strong immune system. Also, physical activity will help their minds off the situation.

What can we expect from the Covid-19 virus

It is very important to keep in mind that, according to the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “more cases are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States.” Also, they said that the virus may continue spreading including in the USA.

However, as per the CDC, “depending on your travel history, you will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread or ongoing community spread.” For more information, visit this CDC link about travel information.

Since this is a new virus, very little has been known about it. According to the scientific journal Nature, both the Covid-19 and SARS shares 79.5% genetic similarity. The article can be found here.

As per the CDC website, officials are studying the virus SARS-Covid-2 that causes Covid-19 to find out effective ways to treat and prevent it. Also, the researches will help determine other ways the virus can spread, the severity, which organs the virus can affect, how it can survive in certain areas, and among other studies.

Should you be concerned?

As coronavirus or Covid-19 keeps spreading in every continent (but Antarctica), there is a good reason to feel concerned and anxious. However, even if you live in a low-risk area it is very important to be aware. Stay tuned to the local and state news for new developments. Also, the Center for Disease Control provides more information about Covid-19 that you can find here.

In addition, you can check the live Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases which was created by the John Hopkins hospital which shows total cases, deaths, and recovered by county. Also, you can visit worldometers.info for more Coronavirus Covid-19 statistics.

It is very important to keep practicing good hygiene to help prevent it and protect your family and friends. Also, keep in mind that elderly people and everyone with severe underlying health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes can be at risk of developing the virus according to the CDC.

It is Ok if you are very concerned but most importantly, be aware and always prepare for unexpected situations.

What you can do just in an event of a pandemic?

Understandingly, many people might be feeling more anxious over the coronavirus and wondering what measures they can take in an event of a pandemic.

As we may know, the Covid-19 is spreading exponentially especially in Iran, Italy, and Japan. In addition, there have been cases in which the Covid-19 have been untraceable or there unable to find out how the Covid-19 started to spread in some countries like Italy, South Korea, and Singapur. You can see the global cases here.

In the United States, the CDC says that they are “aggressively responding to the global outbreak of COVID-19 and preparing for the potential of community spread.”

So, you may want to know what you can do in the event they declare it a pandemic. Here is my honest answer: prepare yourself. Please note, I am not trying to alarm anyone but be aware and remain informed.

The World Health organization officials stated that it may be early to declare a pandemic, “but now is the time to prepare.”

If you are very concerned you can access this checklist, prepared by the United States CDC in 2017 for the Pandemic Flu, which is a helpful source of information that will help you prepare in an event of a Coronavirus pandemic. Another detailed source of information about what to do before and during a pandemic can be found here. For an emergency supply list go to this link.

Supplies checklist needed if you need to self-quarantine

Although we are not doomsday preppers, we keep up to date with the Covid-19. We suggest you start to get these items just in case:

  • Over the counter medicines

    The reason? In an event of a pandemic, hospitals may be over-crowded and ambulances may not be available if you get sick or injured. Also, first aid kits like the First Aid Only comes with everything you need and can be a necessity as well. We have bought this item years ago and we can recommend it. It includes 299 first aid supplies for treating aches, scrapes, and injuries. Find this essential first aid kit on Amazon.

  • Make sure you have enough prescribed medications.

Speak to your doctor about getting extra prescription medication refills (1 to 3 months), in case it is needed especially if you feel nervous or anxious over Covid-19 (coronavirus).

  • N95 respirators

    The filter 95% of airborne particles down to .3 microns. They have children’s respirators available as well.

  • Store food and water  

    You can store a two-week to a month supply depending on the situation. The goal here is to stay home to prevent getting the virus and to be ready for any food shortages. Although you should consider special dietary needs before buying foods, this list will help you plan ahead:

Whole grains (rice, beans, lentils, oatmeal, peas)

Canned foods (fruits, vegetables, juices, soups)

Protein bars

Dried fruits

Nut butter (peanut, cashews, almonds)

Powdered plant or dairy milk

Baby food

Baking needs

Herbs, spices, and seasoning

Do you prefer to order groceries online? On a budget? You can have Amazon have your bulk items delivered to you. For example, if you like to eat fish, you can get an 8-pack StarKist Chunk Light Tuna in Water for a good price.

  • Detergents and household cleaners

    Again, you want to avoid going out in a pandemic and expose yourself to the Covid-19. Buy bulk quantities so they can last longer

  • Get your household items.

    Toilet paper, nitrile gloves, garbage bags, diapers (for babies and the elderly), sanitary pads for the menstrual period, face tissues, sanitary wipes such as Lysol.

  • Stock up fun items

    In the possibility of a pandemic, the local government may close schools. Get coloring books and educative toys so your children can distract their minds to prevent stress and anxiety. Also, get some adult coloring books to help you cope.

  • Buy enough essential oils. 

    It’s not common to feel anxious if the coronavirus keeps spreading. Therefore, you want to get some relaxing and therapeutic essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, bergamot, chamomile, and ylang-ylang. Looking for an oil diffuser to maximize their benefits? Check our helpful oil diffuser buying guide here.

  • Use spices and herbs in your kitchen.

    Do you know that common spices and herbs such as garlic, fennel, oregano, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric have antiviral properties that can help keep you healthy? Although they can improve your immune system, please note that no cure has been known for COVID-19.

    Due to their phytochemical properties speak to your doctor first if you are taking any medications.

  • Explore natural medicine.

    Getting herbal tea such as chamomile, ginger, echinacea, peppermint, lavender, or lemon in case you need to soothe a common cold or relieve stress. Also, in case you feel anxious about Covid-19 coronavirus, they can help you calm down.

  • Get a health monitor

Healthcare systems may experience bed shortages or doctors may suggest people with mild symptoms to recover at home. Therefore, to ensure a satisfactory recovery, it is very important to know the status of your or your family’s health. Getting a blood pressure monitor, thermometer, and even an oximeter will help you collect health data that can be shared with your doctor or specialist. They may not be as accurate as any medical equipment you can find in a doctor’s office but can help determine whether medical assistance is needed. If you get anxious or nervous about the Covid-19 coronavirus, you want to monitor your heart rate or stress levels.

A BP monitor like Omron 5 Series can also detect irregular heartbeats. Two users can store the blood pressure readings (50 each). To learn more about this bestseller blood pressure monitor, check it out on Amazon.

If you are focused more on your heart, breathing, and fitness health, explore the MorePro Monitor Watch which features a blood pressure monitor, sleep tracker, and heart rate. Also, it is waterproof and includes an electrocardiogram to provide a more accurate variation of your heart rate, respiratory rate, and amount of oxygen in your blood. Read more about this innovative fitness tracker that we found on Amazon.

Closing words

We do not really know if cases in the low-risk areas will increase or when the Covid-19 will be contained. Therefore, it is very important to stay tuned to the latest development of this virus.

If you feel anxious about the coronavirus (Covid-19) try to find what makes you feel this way. In the meantime, try to manage your stress by practicing your breathing, stay away from social media, and remain positive.

Yes, it is really scary for many but don’t let your fears take control. Be aware, stay well informed, and keep practicing good hygiene practices as explained in this article.

We hope that our article “Anxious about Coronavirus? How to cope with stress and fears” have been of great help to you, your friends, and your family.

Looking for effective products to help your severe anxiety or panic attacks? Our article 13 best relaxation products that helped our panic attacks is a helpful and unbiased guide to help choose the right stress relief products for your needs.

If your intense fears or stress have increased since the beginning of the pandemic our post “How to deal with increased panic attacks during COVID-19” can help you manage the symptoms and keep your panic disorder at bay.

 

Sources:

United States CDC

WHO

History

Journal of Hospital Infection

Ready

FDA

 

 

Chris and Brenda A
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