How to combat the psychological consequences of the pandemic

While the coronavirus death rate is only 2% of those infected, fear, worry, and even hysteria have been unleashed around the world. Since COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), social panic has increased markedly.

Experts argue that in the face of this complex situation, it is necessary to differentiate between fear and panic: the first is the consequence of a real threat, while panic has its origins in irrationality, anguish and overflow.

Panic is also contagious, they say, and excess of false information and accumulation of concerns have serious consequences on physical and psychological well-being. Therefore, one of the most useful measures to avoid wearing down and stressing the brain, and therefore the whole organism, is to look for reliable sources of information.

When the mind panics, it can lead to serious anxiety, depression, and loss of ability to act rationally in stressful situations. For this reason, it becomes essential that, in addition to taking the recommended measures for prevention, emphasis be placed on managing emotions: focus on the positive, seek support, avoid stigmatization of affected people and resort to humor.


The American Psychological Association communicates five tips to keep in mind:

1. Keep things in perspective: Circulating a large amount of news about the coronavirus does not necessarily mean that it poses a threat to you or your family. It is important to take a deep breath and try to stay calm.

2. Know the facts– A more clinical and curious approach is useful as virus reports are updated. Find a credible source you can trust.

3. Communicate with young children: Coronavirus news needs to be discussed with honest and age-appropriate information for each child. Remember that children observe adult behaviors and emotions to learn how to manage their own feelings during this period. A good way to alleviate distress is to focus children on routines and schedules.

4. Stay connected– Maintaining social media can facilitate a sense of normalcy and provide valuable means of sharing feelings and relieving stress. Don't hesitate to share useful and reliable information from government websites with friends and family, as this helps to deal with your own anxiety.

5. Seek additional help– People who feel overwhelming nervousness, persistent sadness, or other prolonged reactions that negatively affect their job performance or personal relationships should consult with a trained and experienced mental health professional. Psychologists and mental health professionals can help people cope with extreme stress and help them find constructive ways to handle adversity.

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