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How to Distinguish Between a Public Safety Crisis and a Personal Anxiety

Times Of Anxiety

The virus outbreak has people stirred up in anxiety, with canceling of travel plans and events the world over. 

In this ongoing public health emergency, it is easy to overreact, as things remain unclear and potentially dangerous.

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How to Distinguish Between a Public Safety Crisis and a Personal Anxiety

How to Distinguish Between a Public Safety Crisis and a Personal Anxiety

https://forge.medium.com/how-to-distinguish-between-a-public-safety-crisis-and-a-personal-anxiety-a03e6bb79f59

forge.medium.com

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Key Ideas

Times Of Anxiety

The virus outbreak has people stirred up in anxiety, with canceling of travel plans and events the world over. 

In this ongoing public health emergency, it is easy to overreact, as things remain unclear and potentially dangerous.

Coping With Anxiety

Fear of the unknown, causing anxiety, can be helped by deep breaths or just a reminder that uncertainty is a part of life.

Practicing mindfulness (or meditation), focusing on the present moment, can relieve symptoms of anxiety.

Bad News And Social Media

Too much panic-inducing news can cause unnecessary alarm and anxiety. It is advisable to stay clear of fake news and implausible claims on social media.

At the same time, it is also important to know the essential updates, like the recommended social distancing and events being canceled.

Being Prepared

  • See if you can work from home if there is an outbreak in your area.
  • In case you are sick, consult your manager and check the company's sick leave policy.
  • If schools are closed, arrange for daycare for your children if you cannot stay at home.
  • Practice good hygiene, and stay ready and positive in this significant evolving story of our times.

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Stay informed by trusted sources

Facts will minimize your fear. There are two sources to use for managing fear in the new virus response: The World Health Organization and your national authority.

With all the...

Always return to yourself

Many consultants have headaches and nausea when they deal with stress and emotion. There are also times when there is nothing they can do, for example, provide beds, masks, and other needed supplies.

A psychological consultant advises that you should be aware of yourself, and distinguish which emotions are yours, which are the patients, and which are your empathy.

The effects of being isolated

Consider unexpected risks associated with the response to the outbreak, for example, poor mental health that is related to social isolation. Steps to take into account:

  • Staying connected with your social and family networks via technology
  • Keeping your daily routines as much as possible
  • Exercising regularly and practicing habits that you enjoy and find relaxing
  • Seeking practical, credible information at specific times of the day.

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A History Of Pandemics
  • A Pandemic is defined as the proliferation of a disease over the whole country or the entire world.
  • Diseases and illnesses have troubled humanity since the earliest days, but ...
Quarantined
  • The original use of the word Quarantine was the act of anchoring a ship arrived in Venice, Italy, for 40 days before landing.
  • Infectiousness of any disease is measured by the reproduction number (R0, or R naught). For example, Smallpox has an R0 of 6 whereas Measles has an R0 of 16. 
  • Vaccination, if available, and herd immunity can curb the spread of disease.
  • Big cities, with exploding population and traffic, can lead to the rapid spread of any infectious disease.
The movie Contagion
The movie Contagion

Contagion, Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 movie about a deadly pandemic has regained popularity due to the ongoing virus outbreak.
The movie is as much about the way disease gets amplified by...

Fear and manipulation

Contagion's subplots is about one man’s manipulation (Alan Krumwiede) of a climate of fear in order to make money. But it’s also about the way that the social conditions of the pandemic create an opening for the him o rise.
He spreads misinformation in service of selling a homeopathic “cure"; he pretends to be sick and takes the so called cure, to prove that it works.

Lessons not learned

It has become clear that the parts of the movie Contagion that probably mattered most have taught us nothing.
Compared to a single blogger selling a “cure,” the misinformation (fake cures, conspiracies, etc.) we’re facing today is far worse.

Protection By Face Masks

Due to the Wuhan virus spreading across the world, the use of face masks might seem a good means of protection.

The N95 mask, which is a heavy-duty mask offers better protection (95% of air...

Protect Yourself Wisely
  • Cloth masks, which are reusable and washable, offer no real protection while being potentially harmful in case there is any moisture retention or dirt in them due to their being reused.
  • It is a good practice to wear a mask all the time, especially if you have any respiratory illness.
  • It is advisable to be careful while removing your mask, as a mere touch of your hands on the front of the mask can contaminate it.
  • It is also advisable not to touch your face or nose too much.
  • Constantly and frequently wash your hands, all year round, and get a flu shot, as it is flu season. While a flu shot is not a protection against the virus, it is still advisable to get one.
Redefining love

The current global epidemic has transformed relationships, dating, and sex. 

Lovers and family members are suffering aching separations as borders have closed. Weddings have been post...

Redefining communities
  • The pandemic is influencing and changing the way we define a community, with people across the world gathering every day on balconies to applaud medical workers, perform music and even run marathons.
  • Millions of single people stuck indoors have turned to the internet to go on virtual yoga dates, attend karaoke parties or blow out candles at WhatsApp birthday get-togethers.
The shortness of life

Lockdowns around the globe are giving rise to a new togetherness for some and amplifying friction and conflict for others.
The external global context makes you realize that life is short. So if someone is in a bad relationship, they're probably going to decide to leave while they still can. Or the total opposite, decide that they might as well get married and have kids.

Complaining and venting
Complaining and venting

Social connection means sharing both positive and negative emotions. During a crisis, we can get comfort in sharing our fears and receive objective feedback.

However, we have to consider if...

Benefits of venting

Venting our fears and concerns with others can reduce their intensity. Others may provide support and care and soother our negative feelings. We can do the same in turn for them.

We learn we are not alone and may learn how others cope with their frustration and fear, which can help us adopt those methods.

When to know the limits

Venting should not become a habit as it won't fix the problem. When to stop negative emotions:

  • When venting becomes the main coping style cause delays in adaptive action.
  • When sharing with others stresses them.
  • When you don't feel better, and one or both of you feel worse.
  • Young children are not there to listen to our problems, and their job is not to soothe us.
  • Talk to your doctor if you experience signs of clinical depression (depressed mood, low energy, poor or increased appetite, insomnia, and poor concentration).

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Symptoms of the new virus

Common symptoms: chest tightness and shortness of breath. But these are also common symptoms of anxiety.

People with anxiety may continue to worry that they are getting sick, even if they...

Anxiety chest tightness

If you are experiencing chest tightness or shortness of breath now, ask yourself first:

  • Are you someone with a history of anxiety, especially if it is tied to health concerns?
  • If yes, did your symptoms show up while reading news about the virus?
  • Do you find it hard to focus on other things?

Paying too much attention is called hypervigilance and body scanning. It is associated with anxiety.

Anxiety causes shortness of breath

The brain is very powerful. We can see a positive pregnancy test and immediately develop morning sickness. Anxious people can read about the shortness of breath and instantly develop it.

However, shortness of breath is also tied to the way anxious people breathe. Anxious people breathe fast and too shallow. They blow off too much CO2, which makes them feel dizzy and makes their chest feel tight.

To alleviate the symptoms, breathe in slowly through your nose, count to four seconds, and then breathe out slowly through pursed lips. It will normalize your CO2 levels.

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Detecting Loneliness
Detecting Loneliness
  • Scientific literature has linked loneliness to depression, anxiety, alcoholism, and drug abuse.
  • Loneliness makes you more likely to fall ill by suppressing healthy immune function....
Loneliness is subjective

It's possible to be completely isolated and feel invigorated.

It is also possible to be surrounded by a crowd or be accompanied by close friends and feel lonely.

Research on loneliness findings
  • Research showed that after social isolation, subjects' brain scans showed more activity in the midbrain when shown pictures of social cues.
  • When subjects were hungry but had not been socially isolated, they showed a similar reaction to food cues, but not social ones. This shows that the drive for social contact and for things like food seems to be represented in a similar way.

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Acknowledge your weight gain fears 

Besides the health and economic crises we are facing, there are individuals who, due to the media, are also fighting their own fears to gain weight during the quarantine. 

One of the mos...

Control your eating habits, quarantine or not

Everybody seems worried that, during the ongoing pandemic, they will gain weight. 

However, a recent review has shown that individuals tend to gain the weight back after a diet in less than five years, even during regular times. Therefore, quarantine or not, you should pay attention to your eating habits, if you want to have a certain weight.

Emotional eating

While quarantined at home, we all have the tendency to eat foods that trigger that feeling of safety and happiness, that only by consuming these vary foods we can experience. 

As nice as this idea might sound, you should also try sleeping or spending virtual time with your friends, as these can work wonders as well.

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