This is a special announcement from our resident agony aunt columnist Dr Doolally about feeling anxious about the Coronavirus
I’m always been very open, honest and upfront about suffering with anxiety and with the current Coronavirus mania sweeping the planet, I thought it might be a useful insight into what someone feeling anxious about the Coronavirus is going through right now.
Surgical mask ready
On the 27th of January, I purchased ten surgical masks with ear loops from Amazon. If you try and buy them now, they are currently unavailable and they don’t know when the item will be back in stock. Initially, I tried to get them from a nursing supply firm but I was informed they were out of stock due to high demand.
I wanted to purchase the masks was because I think it to be a sensible measure to try and help protect my family. That’s my job. But on talking to my friend, she’s purchased the ones that have been approved by the World Health Organisation. Now I have face mask envy and feel panicked about getting the right ones.
There’s actually not much evidence to support they do anything to help at all but I want to do all I can to keep myself and my family safe.
The devil that is social media
There was no social media when the Bubonic plague was rife. Is that what fuels mass hysteria? We could use it as a positive information tool in times like this. But, like everything, it gets abused.
There was a frantic hunt for the ‘super spreader.’ We know all about him now. There doesn’t seem to be any anonymity these days. That could easily have been your partner. Imagine how you’d feel having all your personal information splashed across the news. So what do I do? I added the following government website page as a shortcut to my home screen and every day at 2pm I check it with a nervous feeling in my tummy.
Feeling anxious about the Coronavirus – but how bad can it be?
I realise there are contagious diseases and the statistics of catching them are generally in our favour. So why is COVID-19 having an impact on my blood pressure? Why am I feeling anxious about the Coronavirus?
Here’s what I’m thinking. The symptoms are flu-like. We have colds all the time, they aren’t serious. Nothing that a bit of Calpol won’t fix. But respiratory issues aren’t so easily ignored. Especially in the elderly and the vulnerable.
When I get worried about something, I generally start at death and work backwards. It helps me formulate a logical plan and this is no exception. I worry about the hospitals getting overrun. We wouldn’t get the treatment we needed and we would lose the ones we love when it could have been prevented.
With that in mind, especially given the situation in Italy, I’m growing increasingly anxious about the possibility of enforced quarantine. The prospect of being isolated in my home with a 5 and 2 year old for 14 days is not something I consider ‘ideal.’ How would that work? I find myself imagining the army patrolling the streets of my local town, preventing us from getting our oat-milk lattes from Starbucks.
This is serious and with the prospect of a pandemic, I’m starting to think about what I can do to prepare. I always keep a stocked up medicine cabinet. I’m mindful not to hoard medicines because that would be incredibly selfish and also very unnecessary.
Before my children had chickenpox, I always had one bottle of Virasoothe in the cupboard. I did have to replace it once because it went out of date. I always keep a bottle of head lice treatment in the cupboard. Prepared. But this isn’t headlice. Your town won’t get locked down with headlice. It is a very real prospect and one that we should all be prepared for but in a sensible, calm manner carrying on until we are advised otherwise whilst sneezing into our elbows.
Links to useful sites
If you’re feeling anxious about the Coronavirus here are some useful links to familiarise yourself with:
Are you feeling anxious about the Coronavirus? Do share in a comment below.