Coronavirus Anxiety: Reducing Stress and worry
by Fred Harvey, MD
As we enter yet another month of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to see both confusion and fear. There are fears of being infected with a serious illness, fears of economic uncertainty and fears of reopening the economy with many unknowns. To dispel this fear, we need information, but the data we receive has been confusing for a variety of reasons.
Valid facts eliminate fear. Science has provided us with extremely valuable information, but it is often lost in the shuffle of media and political rhetoric. We do know that projection models were built with information available at the time. These models have since adapted over time as more data has become available. We also know that social distancing was successful in flattening the curve to remove an excessive burden from the hospital system. We know that we still could encounter risk, but this does not need to create fear if we use rational thinking to understand the risk of this virus. Remember that fear is not truth.
In certain states, the daily virus caseload continues to rise. However, in other states, following better restriction guidelines, the daily curve has decreased as “phase one” was implemented. The fear that we might become infected with COVID-19 remains, so we need to take intelligent precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Until we have better data on how many people have contracted the virus and how many have recovered, we should protect ourselves and others. This starts with wearing masks in public areas, washing our hands consistently and observing the practice of social distancing.
Another area of concern is the social media disinformation campaign. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo have all started to eliminate propaganda and disinformation videos. However, some have already gone viral in many places. One of these videos is based on a propaganda movie called “Plandemic.” There are many other bizarre and false campaigns to discredit the World Health Organization, Bill Gates and others. Therefore, we need to use fact checking websites to confirm the sources of reliable information.
While our consciousness is being assaulted from all directions, we need to implement lifestyle techniques to remain calm and rational, so our decisions are clear. One of the first lines of defense is to turn off cable news and limit screen time. We can still head outdoors for at least thirty minutes every day. We can even take time to smell the roses—literally—as the rose fragrance is uplifting for our spirits.
Meditation is another coping mechanism—or even just listening to pleasant instrumental music while sitting quietly in a favorite chair. We also need to maintain a daily routine, in particular, for those of us working at home. Seven to eight hours of sleep each night is ideal to optimize alertness and functionality, as well as establishing bedtimes and wake-up times.
It’s also recommended to avoid excess alcohol (more than two ounces daily), to drink ample water and to take nutritional supplements to help manage stress. Magnesium threonate in Neuromag, adaptogenic herbs in Cortisoly and SynoyX Calm, GABA (a brain calming organic acid), Rescue Remedy (a stress relieving homeopathic remedy) and CBD are all beneficial supplements to take for anxiety reduction.
The Harvey Center is located at 3982 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota. For more information, call 941-929-9355 or visit HarveyCenter.com.