Corona Virus Scare: How to deal with the COVID-19 panic?

I am sure we all receive many updates about the coronavirus pandemic and even fake news through social media (WhatsApp forwards).

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With before and after quartine posts to endless references to F.R.I.E.N.D.S, the meme world has gone bonkers. 

After a point, all we do is scroll memes  but jokes apart. People have created several conspiracy theories with regard to how the coronavirus originated. Lijian Zhao, Spokesperson and Deputy Director-General of the Information Department of China’s Foreign Ministry claimed on twitter that the coronavirus actually originated from the US by linking a global research article.

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He went on to start a thread attacking the U.S. to apologise for Calling the coronavirus “Wuhan Virus” and the U.S. President calling it a “war against the Chinese Virus” because it originated from China. It was more of this political war between China and U.S. which led to the creation of several conspiracy theories.

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Many people started believing that COVID-19 was a bio-weapon, though researchers now have clarified that the coronavirus is not constructed. It originated from a seafood and animal market in Wuhan.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is essentially an infectious disease which has a detrimental effect on our respiratory system. In 20% of the cases, it has led to death. There are two ways in which this virus spreads:

A. When you are in direct contact with an infected person especially when they cough or sneeze.

B. When you touch a surface or an object that has the virus on it and after that touch your mouth, face or nose.

Which is why around the world people are practising social-distancing. There have been approximately 43, 288 deaths worldwide and about 8,73,767 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The scare is very real.

I had a coronavirus scare around 28th March 2020. I developed a slight fever with a 99°F temperature and had a severe headache. It was a horrible situation and I isolated myself from my family members just as a precaution. Now I am completely fine and in perfect health. Through this experience, I learned that though fever is the first symptom and 88% of the people who tested COVID-19 positive reported to have a high fever. Doctors have clarified that when your temperature goes beyond 100°F and persists for days, that is when you should worry and make sure you get yourself tested.

I found this Corona self-risk assessment test to be very useful.

Here are a few ways to avoid panicking during this Corona scare:

  • Stop Reading: Yes, you heard me right. Stop reading online articles which only sensationalize and create more panic in your mind. Refer to authentic sources whenever you look for information on COVID-19. I found the WHO website to be factual and precise.
  • Stay Home: Practice social distancing and avoid crowds. If you take the necessary precautions you would not panic unnecessarily.
  • Check-in With your Friends: Sometimes we are too much into our own heads and overthink unnecessarily. You need to break that pattern and for that try checking up on how your friends or family are doing. This will start a positive cycle of concern and being cautious not panicking and spoiling your own mental health.
  • Take a social media break: Social media can overwhelm is with a lot of fake news and theories and negative memes. Since you do not need to go to work, or school, or college, try taking a social media break. You can always ask people to call you if they need to contact you.
  • Build your Skills: An empty mind is a devil’s workshop, so why not join an online workshop or a course and actually learn something from your own interest areas. Coursera and Udemy are great platforms where you can learn many skills such as graphic designing, digital marketing, story writing and literally whatever you want. The best part is most of the courses online are free!

Remember that well-being is not always about physical fitness, it is also emotional and mental. Be safe and Keep Calm!

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