With this COVID-19 pandemic currently ravaging the world, I believe these are times to learn ways to stay calm during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The word COVID-19 is now synonymous with panic and great fear. These days, I open doors with elbows, use wipes on water dispensers and cover my hands while opening doors to and out of conveniences/restrooms.
I think that is just about the level everyone is operating these days.
Panicked, afraid and fearful. One can never be too careful. We obsess over every symptom we have that is akin to those of the coronavirus.
We are all having imaginary headaches and then we hold in sneezes thinking if we do sneeze, it will mean we have contracted the deadly COVID-19 that has infected almost a million people worldwide according to statistics by John Hopkins University.
Empty shop shelves
People buying and hoarding supplies
Shortages of tissue paper
Prices of hand sanitizers skyrocketing
Alarming news headlines
You name it.
It is one helluva torture and not a way to live.
What is Coronavirus (Convid-19) Virus?
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2).
On December 31st, 2019, news started filtering in from China that there was a flu-like, SARs like respiratory illness originating from Wuhan, Hubei Province (the epicenter of the disease), that has a large live animal and seafood market.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and animals such as camels, cattle, cats, and bats according to the Centres For Disease Control and Prevention(CDC).
CDC has it on its page that rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread from person to person such as MERS CoV and SARS CoV and of course this new virus.
As of writing this, there are more than a million confirmed cases of the virus all over the world with the United States having the highest number of cases (over 150,000), with over 60,000 deaths globally as of this very day. In Europe, Italy and Spain are the worst hit while in Africa, confirmed cases of the virus are increasing every day.
It is a very grim picture. The numbers are staggering.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 a pandemic. I believe this is when people started taking notice and thinking, this is as real as it can get.
Spread, Symptoms, And Prevention Of Coronavirus
Statistics has it that those are more vulnerable and susceptible are older people (those older than 60 and most especially those older than 80) and those with underlying health conditions whose immune system has been “immunocompromised”
Also, the same statistics have it that it is the elderly that develop severe conditions/symptoms and are dying from the coronavirus. Younger people develop milder symptoms and are more likely to beat the coronavirus.
However, there are known cases of very old persons beating the virus and also of younger people dying. A CNN article of a 70-year-old woman who recovered from the disease is a great example and a story of great hope.
It is not all doom.
As a matter of fact, data collated globally suggests that a very low percentage of people die from the disease.
Globally, deaths recorded so far is lower than 40,000 while the number of those that have recovered are over 166,000
Every death is painful of course. No matter how low the numbers are compared to the confirmed cases and the world’s population, it is not an easy thing to see or hear.
Afterall people have lost loved ones.
But still, the numbers of those recovering are encouraging and that is what I think we should focus on.
The virus is mainly spread by close contact with infected persons, droplets released by coughing or sneezing and/or by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching our face (hence the global directive that we should avoid touching our faces). The virus can survive for up to 72 hours on surfaces.
Asymptomatic cases are also another way the virus is being spread and this is the most dangerous and these cases do not exhibit any symptoms whatsoever.
The symptoms of the COVID-19 could be mild or severe.
Mild symptoms include headaches, fever, and cough while more severe symptoms include muscle pain, diarrhea, sore throat, loss of smell, difficulty breathing, pneumonia, and possible organ failure.
The recommended preventive measures include frequent hand washing, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, social distancing, covering cough and sneezes with a tissue and/or elbow and generally avoiding touching our faces.
There are currently no cures/vaccines for the virus.
10 Tips To Stay Calm During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
As dire as it may look and as easy as it is to fall into panic and anxiety, there are a number of ways to stay calm during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Remember, having a compromised immune system increases one’s chances of contracting the virus. Panic and anxiety increase your Stress Levels and that means raised cortisol levels and lowered immune system.
Here are 5 ways to stay calm during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic according to experts
Adhere To All Necessary Precautions
The World Health Organization, country Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, local health care authorities all over the world have communicated measures to prevent contracting the coronavirus.
- Social distancing
- Hand washing
- Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers
- Closing mouth and nose with a tissue while coughing and sneezing (and/or coughing and sneezing into elbow)
- Regularly cleaning surfaces with prescribed chemicals
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a list of products that meets its criteria for killing SARS-Cov-2 the virus responsible for COVID-19
These measures, when practiced are calming because you know you are doing what you need to do to prevent being infected with the virus.
With millions of people on lockdown, isolated, quarantined, schools and businesses closed and in some cases, total lockdown, it is difficult maintaining “sanity’’.
If you are like me, you have a nine to five job during the day and it is something you are used to
You work during the day and then return home. You had things to do at work to “kill the time’’ so to say. But working from home or just staying home from government orders, you have 24 hours you didn’t know you had before to fill up.
One way to do that to bring calm at this trying time would be practicing mindfulness.
I love the definition of mindfulness given by Mindful because it explicitly resonates with ‘’these times’’ that we are currently facing
You can look at their guide on How To Practice Mindfulness and get started.
It is very calming and it will give you a great sense of balance! Mindfulness apps such as Headspace and Simply Being will also come in handy at this time
Related: 101 Self Care Ideas
On a daily basis, understanding of the virus becomes easier and as such new information about it is disseminated to people by local, national and international agencies.
One of the ways to stay calm during the coronavirus (COVID–19) pandemic is to stay informed.
Staying informed does not include listening to hearsays, myths and unverified claims making the round on how to social media. Claims like taking chloroquine (a drug used in treating malaria) and drinking gin to prevent being infected.
While there are ongoing clinical trials on the use of a combination of chloroquine, zinc and other compounds to cure patients, it is not yet approved so there is no need to adopt self-medication at this time.
Look for a reliable news source for the pandemic to stay informed. Sources like WHO and CDC aforementioned are great sources of news.
The trick is to stay informed and not be overwhelmed by what you hear or read.
As long as you are practicing preventive measures, you should be fine.
Look for Alternative Ways To Utilize Your Time
Isolation is never easy.
Being on lockdown gives you more than 24 hours a day because you are cooped up in one place with little or nothing to do.
Or so you think.
This can be easily remedied in a number of ways.
- Yoga Practice
- Fitness Workouts
- Insight Timer meditation app
- NPR Tiny Desk concert series
- Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cam
- Nightly Livestreams from the Metropolitan Opera
These great suggestions were shared by Social Workers and they are all great ways to stay calm during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
Related: Ways To Be Productive
Create Or Join Support Systems
If you have never believed that the world is a global village, this is a time to believe it.
And I mean that on a positive level!
By now, we all should have realized that no matter our color, creed, race, status, all we have is each other.
Especially in times like this.
This is why creating or joining support systems is crucial as a way to stay calm during the coronavirus pandemic.
A support system lets you know, you are not alone and that your fears, anxiety, and concerns are also shared by others and that is enough to bring calm.
Create a Routine and Stick To It
One of the ways to stay calm during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is to create a routine and then sticking to it.
Creating a routine gives a sense of orderliness and in that, you get calm, you need in times like this.
Plan a routine for morning, afternoon and evenings/nights
You could have an exercise regime in the morning, do some chores around the house in the afternoon (trust me, there is always something to do) and then do some online freelance in the evening.
I am still working so I haven’t yet got round to creating a routine yet (for isolation and lockdown purposes, that is).
You can reshuffle the routine you had before the spread of the pandemic and use it this time.
What better time to reflect on our lives and how we have lived thus far than these times we find ourselves?
I don’t think there is a better time.
When we reflect on our lives and how we are living, choices we have made, mistakes and of course, the positive and good things we have done and or achieved, we are bound to see and do things differently.
That is if we genuinely engage in sober reflection.
This comes with acceptance and with it a calmness
Making Time for Self Relaxation
You probably worked the whole of last year without having a full scale-out holiday
Or you probably started the year working non-stop.
Perhaps, you are simply burnout.
This is the time to relax. Rest is essential for both physical and mental health so its importance cannot be overemphasized.
Get in enough rest. Rest those muscles and brains.
It will be calming.
Related: 101 Self Care Items
Maintaining A Healthy Diet
One of the ways to stay calm during the coronavirus pandemic is by maintaining a healthy diet
This study shows that eating a healthy diet comprised of fruits, vegetables, and limits highly processed foods can help reduce symptoms of depression and reduce stress and anxiety.
I can’t begin to imagine the level of stress and anxiety currently being felt all over the world right about now.
If eating and maintaining a healthy diet at this time (and of course, always), stress and anxiety will be lowered.
This, of course, leads to calmness in the body and soul.
Your immune system is also boosted as a result and you are one step closer to prevent being infected by the coronavirus, other infectious diseases with a great sense of well being
Fellowship and Prayers
I am a believer in a supreme God. All-knowing and All-Powerful. Omnipresent and omniscient.
The bible has all the answers we need and oftentimes than not, we want to do things our way without seeking help from the holy spirit.
I don’t go to Church that often but I do believe in the efficacy of prayers.
If you believe in God and the efficacy of prayers, there are lots of bible verses that will bring calm during this plague.
2nd Chronicles 7: 13 – 14 is a great assurance of God’s forgiveness when we call upon him in times of plagues.
‘’When I shut up the heavens so that there are no rain or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from… Click To Tweet’’
Pray on your own or create groups, like WhatsApp group chats with friends and family to stay connected even as Churches have been shutdown.
There is nothing more calming than that.
These 10 ways to stay calm during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are great tips we all should utilize. Stay safe, stay at home, adhere to rules and remember, you are not alone. This too shall pass.