Consideration: The “Cure” for COVID-19-Induced Fear

 D-19 pandemic, but there is really no solution other than researching effective and safe vaccines. In that sense, much of modern society has been experiencing widespread fear. This emerges in several forms: fear of losing a loved one, spreading or contracting the virus without knowing, being irresponsible and causing a death, and otherwise. 

So, how in the world do we go about quelling that pent-up fear? As it turns out, taking our personal concerns seriously and using available, sound knowledge is what can help. Being considerate does not simply mean being nice to others; it also means respecting the self and the situation at hand.

Understand the Difference Between Proactiveness and Paranoia

Proactivity involves planning ahead, taking respectable precautions, looking out for loved ones, and accepting when it is sensible to say “no.” Paranoia is an outward reaction triggered by fear, and it usually creates emotional stress for the actor and those around them. In some cases, especially right now in the case of panic buying, it can cause problems and put others at risk, turning into a selfish act rather than selfless. Some folks confuse these two terms and interpret being cautious as “overdoing it;” We are afraid of what we are not used to, so it is understandable though anything but helpful that some folks refuse to wear masks, practice distancing or take the pandemic seriously.

Separating Fact from Fiction

The real professionals you can count on are the healthcare experts on the frontlines, witnessing the effects and horrors of the pandemic without any filtered viewpoints. Read up on medical studies, take the time to consider the evidence and points these experts are going far out of their way to provide, and try to understand that none of us know everything about how this virus behaves. It is constantly mutating and incredibly difficult to figure out and all the noise, particularly from political leaders, is doing nobody any favours. 

To help calm your fears and pace your mind to sensibly navigate these times, learning to separate fact from fiction is critical. Even if an elder friend with an old-fashioned mindset takes everything the news is preaching as scripture, it does not mean that they can provide concrete answers you can trust. The more we eliminate the bias from our thought processes and precautions, the better we will navigate these times together. Listening to our instincts, understanding that findings will change as we collectively learn more about the virus, and arming ourselves with the latest knowledge can eliminate much of the fear and uncertainty we may experience daily.

Do Not Be Afraid to Say “No” or Make a Change

This last point is one of contention; we all want to make a living wage and support our loved ones. Little is free nowadays, and costs are constantly being driven up. The ironic thing about life is that you cannot take the money with you afterwards. If someone such as an employer or friend is prioritizing their own bottom line or needs over your safety, which is all too common, know that you do not have to follow them and gamble. This is especially true since those who are infected with this virus – even “mild” cases – can be severely impacted for life. That will not help you maintain a career later in life anyway, again an ironic statement, so consider whether the risk is worth taking in the grand scheme of things rather than in the short term.

No matter what, trust in yourself first before letting fear and the demands of others drive you. Build a healthy skillset and reputation, market yourself accordingly and make connections, then act and look for a more considerate environment if you need it – one that is conducive to getting things done while providing proper support. We hear too many horror stories of workers forced back into factories and other environments even if they can support remote operations indefinitely – in massive buildings that share air conditioning systems, indoor air, bathrooms, and countless touchpoints – and end up contracting the virus. We are seeing it happen all over the United States in a very tragic way right now and, especially as most of Ontario enters stage three of reopening despite the outbreak risk remaining very much there, asking yourself the hard questions is essential right now. Restoring the economy and making a living is critical, but so is relying on your own mind.

Regardless, do not be afraid to take a breather, reflect on what matters most and whether it is feasible to shift gears, then set out on the path that makes the most sense for you. You do not owe anyone a thing, but you do owe it to yourself to stand up for your principles. That is caring about the self and those who count on you at home in a calculated manner, not acting out of fear, even if it displeases others. If you are eager for further assistance on how to establish a considerate new direction, our therapists are happy to help. Contact us today to get started.