On March 14th, I shared an article and some thoughts:
Everyone's task right now is to right-size your emotional response. If you aren't worried at all, then maybe you are minimizing. This is a pandemic that requires every citizen of the world to make some adjustments in your behavior: more hand washing, limited group activities, standing further apart, less face touching.
If you are entertaining thoughts of what will happen if everyone in your family but you are alive. If you are spending your time thinking and rethinking various horrific scenarios, you are catastrophizing, and you need to return to the moment you are now in. Focus on your present decisions and behavior.
You are not alone. Your friends are still here. Your support system is not gone. They may be standing 6 feet away, but they are still going to be here for you. If you are bad at reaching out, that's not great, but (as I tell my clients of the world), your extroverts usually have your back. Good chance they will reach out. Then all you have to do is respond to them. We make it a little easier.
Take a breath and remember that in this moment, you are safe where you sit.
For those concerned about the financial losses that are invariably coming, remember that you are in a world of many people who are in the exact same situation. MANY bills won't be paid in the coming weeks. That is FOR SURE! I'm already seeing lots of efforts to support artists and service workers. Arts organizations, bars, restaurants, so many other types of businesses will be losing revenue. Is it going to suck? Oh yes. Will it change your long-term plans? Yes. Are you still safe in the moment? YES!
One thing I've found helpful for those worried about the experience of the virus itself is watching videos of those who have had it and are recovering. 96.5% of people who get COVID-19 will recover fully.
Personally, the part of this that is stressing me out the most is people talking about older, sicker relatives minimizing their risk and taking chances. That's such a hard one, and I'd like to thank my mother for having an appropriate response. She's 77 and lives in a 55+ community. She has bought a lot of food and is set up to hang out in her apartment a lot! She and her friends have found a way to play bridge with each other in an app! Anyway, it's really hard when you can't control the behavior of someone you love. You can make your pitch, but ultimately, they may make decisions that aren't great in your eyes. But you don't need to chase them around. That's pretty likely to stress you out and not that likely to change their behavior.
I'm going to try and post a little more stuff like this over the next little while. And read this article. It's a good one.
The psychology of coronavirus fear—and how to manage it