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Coronavirus anxiety

A letter writer is suffering from anxiety over the coronavirus epidemic. Can our elder reassure them?

Dear EWC

I am having such bad anxiety over this coronavirus epidemic. I worry that I’m going to get it and die, or that someone in my family is going to. I can’t sleep at night. I recently had pneumonia. I am still recovering. With all my health issues and recent illnesses, it is making my anxiety about this worse. I am going to see my doctor tomorrow and try to see my counselor soon but I just need someone to talk to.

Lincoln-Parker replies

It sounds like you are doing all of the right things in seeing your doctor and planning to schedule a visit with your counselor shortly. I am sure your doctor will advise you on anything that you should do specifically considering your weakened health. Follow his/her directions very rigidly, and there is little I can offer beyond except for prevention advice found from such places as the World Health Organization. The EWC is unable to provide any medical advice.

I would also recommend that you read the CDC advice on coping with the virus outbreak. I would ask you to pay close attention to the advice about not continually following the news. Your doctor will give you all of the information that you need to know and continually watching the repetitive news coverage only heightens your anxiety. Watch some good movies, work on a puzzle or talk with good friends on the phone.

I know my last advice is easier said than done so I hope you can get to your counselor who will give you some more professional tips on dealing with the anxiety. In the article above from the CDC, there are also numbers for some hotlines if you think you need to talk to someone immediately.

There is no question that we all have to be more vigilant for the time being, but this epidemic will subside as all others have. As long as you are heeding your doctor’s advice and following normal precautions, I think you will come out fine.

Letter #: 456101
Category: Self-Improvement

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