There are a number myths linked with Covid-19 which create fear, panic, and a false sense of security.
Myths are dangerously influential during a public health crisis, often obstructing your ability to make reliable informed decisions.
When fear, panic and false hope are reduced, people make smarter and more informed decisions.
During the sudden change that accompanies a public health crisis people experience a state of normlessness, while adjusting to their new normal.
Individuals who quickly adapt to their new normal experience less stress and anxiety during the crisis, and make better decisions while continuing to move forward in their daily lives.
This post will provide techniques that help to identify and avoid the dangerous myths that increase fear, panic and false hope.
Find A Trusted News Source:
- Information about Covid-19 is rapidly changing and often misleading. This creates myths regarding the reality of the situation and leads to poor decisions.
- Find a trusted news source for your information that focuses on facts. Whenever possible, avoid shocking headlines and sensationalized news stories.
- Reading your news often reduces stress and anxiety when compared to getting your news from televised news programming. However, many online news stories use sensationalized headlines to manipulate readers. In order to combat this, you must read beyond the headline and always be critical of what you are reading.
- Be your own researcher. Do not rely on those around you for facts about Covid-19. Information is power, and during a crisis there is a constant flow of misinformation. Find reliable sources of information and empower yourself with facts. This makes navigating the fiction easier.
Boredom Is Your Enemy:
- When norms suddenly change, people are forced into a new daily routine.
- When people are forced to change their daily routines they often use boredom as an excuse for why they are resistant to change.
- Resisting change during a public health crisis increases fear, anxiety and leads to poor decision making.
- Embrace your new reality. While you may not like this new reality, accepting it leads to less boredom, reduced fear and anxiety, and increases better decision making.
- Overcoming boredom begins with finding new ways of doing things.
- The use of technology can be key when navigating life under a shelter in place restriction. From ordering your groceries online, to using Zoom to socialize with your friends, technology can bridge the gap between our old and new realities and thus, reducing boredom.
Patience Is A Skill Not A Talent:
- Work to increase your level of patience during sudden change.
- Begin by working to increase your patience with the people around you. Remember, most people do not process sudden change positively. Work to be part of the solution for the people in your life who are struggling the most with this new reality.
- Increased patience leads to less panic, fear, and anxiety, and when coupled with increased facts, increased patience leads to better decision making.
- Patience is of upmost importance as this crisis progresses. Do not be in a rush to return to your old normal routine. Rushing back to your old routine could be a health risk.
- Failure to be patient and rushing back to your old routine can be counterproductive to reducing fear and panic which can put yourself and others at risk.
When it comes to managing and overcoming the fear and panic associated with Covid-19:
- Rely on trusted and factual information
- Be creative when overcoming boredom
- Be patient with others and yourself, especially before returning to your old routines.
For recent updates and links to health and wellness suport, counseling services, and public health hotlines, vist the UIS Covid-19 homepage.