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Hi there, I only just joined and I'm worried about the Coronavirus.

Harry_Lime
Community Member
Hi everybody.

This is my first time posting on this forum - I only joined BB last Saturday night after a bout of anxiety and depression.

The thing is, I’ve been worrying a lot about the coronavirus that is going on at the moment; every time there is a news item about it its worse than the news item before it. And now that Australia has confirmed person-to-person virus contact it seems we are going the way of China with shut downs and restrictions and the news is full of footage of statistics and even people panic buying. I know it sounds really strange where I am coming from, but its just been on my mind almost 24/7 and I am becoming obsessed with news about it which probably isn’t good. I’m genuinely scared I am going to catch it or worse. Am I the only one out there like this?

I’ve always been on the anxious side of things, a born worrier etc. I just turned fifty last year (yeah, great) and I work from home as a graphic designer. And its only me living here - my partner lives a couple of hours away in the country. I’ve told her what I am going through and she is very low key about the whole coronavirus situation.

I’d really appreciate some ideas, feedback etc.

Thanks guys! 🙂

42 Replies 42

ErinB
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Harry,

Your concerns are valid. Please don't feel strange for being worried. It is a scary time, especially for those of us with anxiety disorders/mental illness. It may be a good idea to try avoiding the news for a few days and ask for major updates from your partner or someone else close to you so that you're not exposed to news about it 24/7 but know that you'll get important information about it should that information arise. I hope your anxiety surrounding the corona virus decreases soon!

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

I go along with your concerns about this insidious virus. But as a boy that was nicknamed the “worrier” in school by teachers, there is a problem with your processes in filtering reality. Please let me explain.

eg I’m scared of sharks and won’t enter the ocean beyond knee height. Yet there is 20,000 more chance of being injured or killed in a car accident to the beach and return. Simply put, I’m not being realistic.

At 29yo when I had a stress related workplace incident that was the first abnormally my new therapist picked up on- “ask yourself Tony, are you being realistic”.

The 2nd thing was my attitude “Tony, when are you going to stop saving the world”.

And the third- “well Tony, that’s great helping others, but getting that into perspective so you can help yourself will allow you to continue helping others rather than fall in a heap,”

That was 33 years ago, yet those lessons are used almost daily.

listed below is some valuable threads that you can insert in the search bar at the top of the page.

Anxiety, how I eliminated it

Worry worry worry

Sensitivity and depression- a connection?

The Good Samaritan

Distraction and variety

I hope they help. A racing mind that has obsessions needs attention through a combination of all things needed to achieve calm- therapy, medication, self help etc. those aspects if currently receiving, might need a review.

What do you think?

TonyWK

Thanks Tony, your reply is much appreciated. Sometimes I feel like my mind is racing in regards to this crisis to the point where I could easily shut myself inside my home, barricade the door and not come out. I was at the pub tonight with a couple of mates and all I could think about was “what if this is the last time I get to go out?” “Has the person who handled the food been infected?” I think my mind is getting carried away with these thoughts - so my sincere apologies if I’m coming across like that. I’ll check out the links you’ve suggested and see how I go.
Thanks for taking the time to respond - it’s much appreciated. H

Hi Harry Lime,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for your post. While this is the first one I've seen on Beyond Blue so far about the coronavirus, I think you've said what lots of people are thinking - it is a really anxious time for people and you are not alone with your worries.

As someone with anxiety also, it's helped me to try and understand it. I've learned that the TV is often using significant scare tactics so it's no wonder that we're alarmed by it.

So for example, yes, we have seen person to person contact, but the risk of getting the virus is the same as the risk of getting the flu - in terms of the amount of people that get affected and how (sneezing/coughing). I also know that people have died from this virus, but what the media has failed to tell us is that a significant majority of these people are a) old and b) already unwell or with an illness that compromises their immunity.

While people are panic buying, there isn't actually any need to, in the same way there is no need to avoid the corona beer or Chinese restaurants.

If you need to turn the tv off or change the channel I encourage you to do so, or to find ways to keep distracted with things that you enjoy but try not to barricade yourself up! Hopefully by being here and reaching out you can stay grounded and not get too caught up with your anxiety.

rt

Hi RT

Thanks for the response to my post. I took the advice of yours, and others on the site, and tried to stay off the news for a bit today and got down to some freelance work. Most of the day was okay but the evening news when I decided to get an update threw me off kilter a bit; government enacting “phase two” with enforced quarantines and isolating people etc, plus the latest deaths/infected numbers. All this explained with footage of from China of people being dragged kicking and screaming out of their homes. Pretty scary stuff.
So I’ll do a movie tonight instead.
Thanks again for replying to me, it’s much appreciated.

Harry_Lime
Community Member

Hi ErinB

Thanks for being the first to respond to me - that means a lot, particularly since I’ve only just joined. I’ve been trying a few recommendations you and others have suggested - it’s a bit up and down - but I’m trying. 🙂

Thanks again.

Hi Harry,

My psychiatrist actually suggested that I stop watching/reading/listening to the news a couple of years ago as I found that I was getting bogged down with negative stories and worries about what was going on in the world. At first I found it hard to do and I worried that I would miss out on some sort of important information however, my psych assured me that the way news spreads if it was something I needed to know I would hear about it from family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances etc. I have found this to be the case and anything that I have needed to know I have heard about. Since cutting out the news I have really come to realise just how much of the news reported is bad news . . . hearing other people say “what do you think about this disaster/accident/crime/war/political scandal etc”. I hadn’t realised just how much of the news headlines are dominated by negativity rather than positive, feel good news stories. I must admit that with all of the talk about the Coronavirus I have been tempted to look up news stories about it but have been able to resist as I know from previous experience that obsessing about it won’t help me. I have also reminded myself that the news does tend to exaggerate and dramatise things rather than reporting on info like RT mentioned in the above post about the ages and health conditions of the people who have been most seriously affected by the virus.

Good luck in switching off from the media coverage.

Hi Fred

Thats a pretty full on way of dealing with the negativity in the news by going cold turkey - well done you! :). I’ve always been a news junky and wanting to know what’s going on so now it’s a bit like slamming the gears into reverse. Glad to hear it’s made a difference for you, That’s great!

blondguy
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Harry Lime

I understand your concerns re the Covid-19 outbreak... you are one of many..(including myself) that are worried about it yet there is little we can do at this time...

There is always good news though Harry...21 people out of the 34 diagnosed..(In Australia) have recovered from the corona virus....as of 11am today March 3

I used to be a news junkie too...not anymore....I respect your choices though..no worries!

Paul