As the Coronavirus spreads, many questions can make us feel vulnerable or fearful. Two prominent worries could be – ‘Will it come to my neighbourhood’ or ‘Am I at risk?’

We’ve got national anxiety at the moment, a kind of shared stress.  But the more you stress, more vulnerable you become to viruses, because stress can dampen your immune response.

The outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.

5 steps to push back anxiety

1. Plan ahead to feel more in control

Those of us prone to anxiety, like to be in control. So, if you take basic steps to prepare for the possibility of an outbreak in your neighbourhood, you may feel a sense of relief.

2. Unplug and learn to be in the moment

It’s important to be in the now, but obsession about the news has the unintended effect of driving up your fear. News alerts do not change your risk of getting Coronavirus.

3. Prioritize good sleep

While there’s still a lot to learn about the new Coronavirus, well-rested people are better at fending off viruses. So, take proper rest, and sleep well.

4. Exercise and eat well

This is always a good advice. Daily exercise can help promote feelings of well-being — and boost your immunity. For instance, physical activity protects against symptoms of anxiety, and getting your heart rate up each day.

5. Wash your hands 

When an infectious disease hits a community, there’s not so much anyone can do. You can’t sterilize your entire environment. But taking a few preventative actions will help reduce your risk.

What you should be telling your people  

A. Coronavirus is transmitted from person to person via respiratory droplets. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, droplets containing virus particles are released.

B. If you are standing close, you can become infected. The respiratory droplets travel about three feet before they tend to settle out of the air. So, keep your distance.

C. In addition, droplets can land on surfaces, such as elevator buttons, doorknobs, and shared work spaces.

D. So, if you touch a contaminated surface, and go on touching your face, you can become infected. The virus can enter your body through your eyes, nose or mouth.

F. During an outbreak, proper hand-washing is your best defense against a virus. In addition, you may want to forego hugging and hand-shakes, and embrace ‘low-touch’ salutations such as the elbow bump.

Coronavirus update