Five Ways to View Coverage of the Coronavirus
Source: American Psychological Association, College of Psychologists of Ontario
News reports about a new coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, together with speculation that it could become more widespread, is making some people anxious. Here are some tips to help you manage your anxiety, put news reports in perspective and maintain a positive outlook.
- Keep things in perspective. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that the number of confirmed infections in the U.S. and Canada is extremely low. The fact that there is a great deal of news coverage on this issue does not necessarily mean that it presents any threat to you or your family.
- Get the facts. It is helpful to adopt a more clinical and curious approach as you follow news reports about the virus. To that end, you will want to find a credible source you can trust. Ontario Ministry of Health’s website provides information about how the Ministry of Health has been preparing for coronavirus in Ontario: www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus. You may also find useful information from local or state public health agencies or even your family physician.
- Communicate with your children. Discuss the news coverage of the coronavirus with honest and age-appropriate information. Parents can also help allay distress by focusing children on routines and schedules. Remember that children will observe your behaviors and emotions for cues on how to manage their own feelings during this time.
- Keep connected. Maintaining social networks can foster a sense of normality and provide valuable outlets for sharing feelings and relieving stress. Feel free to share useful information you find on governmental websites with your friends and family. It will help them deal with their own anxiety.
- Seek additional help. Individuals who feel an overwhelming nervousness, a lingering sadness, or other prolonged reactions that adversely affect their job performance or interpersonal relationships should consult with a trained and experienced mental health professional. These professionals work with individuals to help them find constructive ways to manage adversity.
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