You've seen it, you've heard it, and maybe you've experienced it. People freaking out over the coronavirus, whether hoarding toilet paper and water, making homemade hand sanitizer, or wearing surgical masks in public. In the meantime, presidential candidates are cancelling rallies, Austin nixed the South by Southwest festival, and pro sports leagues are talking about possibly playing games without fans present. All of this as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to say that the risk of coronavirus to the vast majority of the public is low.
The coronavirus anxiety is real, as Dallas-based professional counselor Elizabeth Scrivner can attest. "I think certain individuals are more prone to being very anxious about things like this," she tells KTRH. "People who already suffer with anxiety or OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), they are having a more difficult time. The ones who don't like flu season already, really don't like coronavirus season right now!"
While Scrivner believes it's important to keep yourself informed with the latest facts and information, she recommends taking a break from all the virus talk and finding other areas to focus your attention. "Try focusing on what matters, whether it's family, friends, or something else you're working on like a project...but just taking a mental break," she says. "Of course you still want to get solid information to stay updated, but not 12 hours a day and night where you're constantly looking it up."
For most people, the best prevention for coronavirus and coronavirus anxiety is the simple stuff, like washing your hands, keeping your home clean, and practicing good hygiene. "And for people just to go outside and take a break, that's really so important for their mental health," says Scrivner.