Feeling anxious about the Coronavirus? You’re in good company…

Feeling anxious about the Coronavirus

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:

NHS guidance

Government guidance

World Health Organisation guidance

Are you feeling anxious about the Coronavirus? Do share in a comment below.

11 comments

  1. I actually said to my husband this morning, should I stop going to toddler groups? Am also thinking about wearing gloves to work on Saturday ( traveling on the train/tube ) and buying a mask. Am getting slightly worried.

    • I think you’re being very sensible.
      I didn’t go to the gym this morning.
      We have a positive case in our borough.

  2. Great article. We have had daily emails from school giving advice about Coronavirus. It is just one of those things we need to try not to worry about, keep making sure the kids wash their hands and follow good hygeine rules.

  3. Our school were teaching the younger children how to wash their hands properly this week. They are doing all they can to keep good hygiene.

  4. I was talking to my boys about how germs can spread.
    My demonstration was spectacular but then I was also trying to explain that germs are good for your immune system to build itself. Blank looks all round!
    It’s hard when personally I’m mindful of things like bank notes, shopping trolleys, baskets and traffic light buttons.
    Every time my 2 yr old wants to press the buttons I sense a case of norovirus coming on!

  5. I have type 1 diabetes, so I fall in to the category of vulnerable who may be really affected by it. That said – I’m fairly relaxed about it at this stage and will just deal with whatever happens when it happens

  6. It’s hard to know whether to worry or not with all the panic going round. Flu kills thousands a year, and people don’t worry half as much about that. But no doubt if you are vulnerable then it will definitely be a big worry.

  7. I am so fed up of the constant updates and scaremongering. It is just another strain of flu and yes it is more dangerous to babies and old people but I do have a supply of pain relief and antibac just in case

    • I agree. I’ve actually stopped looking at headlines now as my tummy goes over! We are getting fantastic updates from the school and I check in on the government website at 2pm.

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