It was inevitable, right?
Well your IUN has taken the plunge, and found a very useful post which I feel will help everyone. Obviously, those with anxiety and panic disorder will be prone to feeling the effects of concern about the virus, but the hype is responsible for a lot of this. So, please read the article below as written by Professor Kevin Gournay (Emeritus Psychology Professor at Kings College London) and in true British style... "Keep calm and carry on"
Take care guys - my thoughts and prayers are with you all - members and visitors alike
Of course the Corona Virus is a worry for us all. Indeed, I think it uncontentious to state that many anxiety sufferers will probably worry more than most and maybe even catastrophise the situation.
To reduce worry, it is worth bearing in mind several things:
• Corona Virus does lead to deaths in a small proportion of the population, but the vast majority of sufferers will recover and many will only experience mild symptoms. This is not Spanish Flu or Ebola!!!
• We had a similar outbreak of viral illness in 2009 (Swine Flu) when there were more than 200 deaths in the UK and literally many thousands of sufferers. Have a look at the Wikipedia entry on this that describes, very accurately, the extent of that condition. One needs to remember that in the past ten years, social media sites have proliferated: news in all shapes and forms, reaches many more people. However, often we only get a headline on our phones and headlines may be misleading, and not give the whole picture. I would argue that if Swine Flu happened today we would see much more panic than in 2009.
• If you are worried, look at the detail of what the Chief Medical Officer says and the various NHS websites. There are thousands of experts working behind the scenes (why isn’t this a headline in your favourite news outlet?). I know from personal experience that the NHS and Government have always had disaster plans (for all major threats – war, terrorism and YES – illnesses).
• There are of course threats to the economy that people deem catastrophic – however, pause – just have a think about real economic catastrophes – Venezuela, many parts of Africa etc. In the course of my career I did some International development work and visited countries where economic catastrophes prevailed – when I got home I often thought – thank God I live in the UK.
Take note of the facts:
1. Worrying rarely leads to a solution and the chance or you actually catching the Corona Virus is minimal. Even if you did catch it, most sufferers recover.
2. Focusing on the worst-case scenario only stops you enjoying the present moment.
3.Headlines can be misleading.
Professor Kevin Gournay
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience: Kings College: London
Honorary Professor: Faculty of Medicine and Health: University of Sydney