Coronavirus: COVID-19 Pandemic and How to Deal with It
In the light of recent chaos where you have been watching news of the worldwide spread of coronavirus disease COVID-19 that is significantly affecting the finance, politics, education, religion and socio-economic conditions worldwide, you may have wondered whether the world is coming to an end.
There is so much negativity surrounding the news related to the spreading of coronavirus that includes stock market bloodbath, anxiety gripping the companies all around the world and countries opting for the lockdown to ensure quarantine. With all these things happening around, it is difficult to stay positive. People can’t stop taking the stress of this new pandemic.
Ever wonder why suppressing negative thoughts actually reinforces them? You may be nodding your head in a yes. How many times you have struggled thinking about something or some thought for the reason that you were scared that you possibly will do it?
For example, you may try not to think about a favorite dessert when on a diet, or you may try not to think about a conflict that you have with your colleague in the office. But what is the result of this deliberate effort to avoid certain thoughts? Does this work or not? Or does this actually push us toward the very act that we are trying to avoid?
Several kinds of researches on thought suppression have shown that when you deliberately try to avoid certain thoughts, it results in two consequences. One, you will start thinking about that thought more; and second that if the thought is a behavior then you will engage in that behavior more.
In simple words, deliberate effort to avoid certain thoughts makes you less able to control what you think and do. This phenomenon is termed as ‘rebound effect’ (Wegner et al., 1987).
It is because of this rebound effect that people who are on diet and trying to avoid certain foods or chocolate, end up eating more; or people trying to quit smoking led to more cigarettes smoked, and people who are trying to avoid thinking about coronavirus end up thinking more about it.
Now coming back to coronavirus and COVID-19, we all know that fear about coronavirus spread is not unjustified and it cannot be taken lightly. But, we need to understand that this viral fear of COVID-19 is actually making us more vulnerable to the virus and its collateral damage. You may be asking, how?
Well, medical researchers have proven that when you are in a state of fear, it turns down your immune system – the body’s natural defense system that protects us against diseases.
So, what can we do instead?
Well, as a believer, we need to understand that in times of calamity and uncertainty, we have to protect and take care of ourselves and one another. As brothers and sisters in humanity, Allah (SWT) obliges us to take care of children and elderly people as they are most vulnerable.
This is the high time that we as a nation prefer kindness, wisdom, and helpfulness over panic, anxiety, and distress. We need to develop a more grounded response within our community.
Here are some ways you can better deal with coronavirus anxiety.
Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus
The coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person to person. However, this virus can also be spread by touching any surface that has the virus on it. Some viruses are highly contagious that can spread easily and sustainably in the community and coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is one of them.
Here are few ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus:
- Use a face mask.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Use hand sanitizer.
- Wash your hands with soap.
- Keep distance while going out.
- Avoid gatherings and keep yourself away from the crowd.
- Avoid touching your face without washing hands.
- Avoid ordering food from outside.
- Eat healthy foods to keep your immune system working.
Look After Your Community
- Do not share unverified information.
- Do not add to the panic and increase anxiety.
- Take care of elderly people and children.
- Help your neighbors and friends.
- Support health care professionals
Avoid the Temptation of Stockpile
- Prepare a list and buy only what you actually need.
- Do not panic buy!
- Avoid spending too much time in the shopping mall.
- Make sure that your neighbors also have what they need.
- Self-isolate yourself at home, if necessary.
- Avoid social gatherings.
- Check on others around you who need your support.
- Support and take care of the underprivileged people.
Remember that your actions – positive and negative – can affect the society so make sure that what you do will have a positive impact on society.
Finally, remember the words of Prophet Muhammad (SAW):
“Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth and the One above the heavens will have mercy upon you.”
So let’s come together in kindness, wisdom, and helpfulness towards each other.