Terrified reading the news. Afraid of getting COVID-19

Posted by Elizabeth @enska, Mar 22, 2020

I read 2 articles today about what COVID-19 is like and I’m about at the end of my rope. I can’t stop worrying about dying. I’ve been scrambling to find somewhere to talk about this and just saw a post on Facebook about Connect, which has been helpful for me in the past.

I have type 2 diabetes and I get infections easily because of that. I haven’t kept the best control over it in the past, but right now it’s controlled ok.

This week I went to the grocery store every day, I went to therapy, and I also had to go to the dentist for an emergency tooth issue. I hadn’t fully grasped the situation but I did wash my hands, use hand sanitizer, refrained as much as I could from touching my face, and sanitized stuff in the house. Also continuing to do those actions now and in the future. But right now I’m worried I got it from my trips out in the world. I’m kind of hoping that it was early enough where not many people were carrying it yet.

Now, I can’t tell if this is the beginning of a panic attack or what, but I’m having trouble catching my breath today. I’ve been having that feeling where you need to take a deep breath to fill up your lungs. I also have a very slight stuffy nose. I had one of these panic attacks last year where I thought I was having a heart attack. I went in to St. Mary’s ED. There was absolutely nothing wrong with my body. It was all because my therapist had just talked about how women have different heart attack symptoms than men (not to blame my therapist, it wasn’t her fault). It’s amazing how the body can unconsciously create symptoms like that. So I hope my breathing thing is just that.

I don’t think I want to leave my room ever again. I was thinking about running to the post office tomorrow but I think I need to not do that. I also need to not read any more articles about how people die from COVID-19. 😣 Thank you for allowing me a space to talk about all this. I’m going to try to go to sleep.

Hi Elizabeth @enska, Thanks for starting this discussion. I don't think you are alone when it comes to being afraid with all of the news and statistics about COVID-19. I just read an article that I thought was quite helpful and gave some tips we can all use.

COVID-19: Tips for Mindfulness & Coping with Anxiety — https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/covid-19-tips-for-mindfulness-coping-with-anxiety/

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@enska– Good morning Elizabeth. COVID-19 is scary. I'm scared, petrified in fact. I have stage 4 lung cancer and I have been ill. I had a virus or something other than COVID-I9. I am using these feelings of fear and loss of control to help keep myself as healthy as I can be. My husband does all of our errands. Do you have anyone to help you run errands? I would start and make a list of all the very necessary things that you have to do and don't do anything else. Life, as we have been used to is over for now. We have to make changes to adapt to this new life. Pay attention to all recommended cautions. Since you have been out and about I would self-quarantine yourself until you are cleared of having the virus.
Here are some steps that you can take and information that might interest you.
https://healthmatters.nyp.org/how-to-protect-yourself-from-coronavirus-covid-19/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/symptoms-causes/syc-20479963

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Hi @enska, Elizabeth, it can be a challenge to shut out the news. It is all around us. I like the article That @johnbishop shared
– Tips for Mindfulness & Coping with Anxiety — https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/covid-19-tips-for-mindfulness-coping-with-anxiety/

News that keeps the news channels in business needs to be separated from the news you need know. Because information that you need to know if changing day to day, I recommend that you check in periodically to trusted websites like
– Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
– Mayo Clinic News Network’s up-to-date news and information https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/category/covid-19/

If you don't live in the US, follow the trusted health authority of your country or region. This will keep you informed without the headline hype that popular news channels lead with and will help you avoid the untruths and hoaxes that plague social media sites.

Above all, put the phone and electronic devices away before going to bed. I need to follow my own advice on that one. How are you feeling tonight?

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Hi. I hear you on your anxiety ramping up. Mine is too. I am on other sites and chat with people who have family members in ICU, etc. My heart is so heavy from hearing their stories, and I am terrified. All we can do is to lay low, stay home, and wait for this to pass.

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Good morning. It is very very surreal. How do we make it real without looking at the news all day? Grocery stores are running out of necessities.

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@merpreb AS I stated before I get groceries usually in a day but last week I ordered on Thrus. wont be delivered till 25th so all is getting stretched . I hope they don't run out of food either . I saw that the farmers market is also doing a good business .

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@liones- Morning Linda. I know, these are times that we've never incurred before which is one thing that is making us tense. Questions like yours about the lack of food and medicines and test kits are unprecedented and are terrifying. How do we act? and what do we do?
We've been warned against fresh loose-leaf produce but some people aren't paying attention.
Also, Linda, I think that we will just have to wait to see how private industries act in replenishing store shelves and medicines, tests kits and all things necessary for survival. Everyone is scared, and if they aren't they should be.

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@merpreb So true . I have a tip here for you as far as fresh vegies . Long time ago I was listening to Dr. Oz . He said if you make a solution of vinegar and water . spray all vegies let set for a few minutes it kill the pesticides ,insecticides on vegies so I have my vinegar water bottle handy and use on all vegies and also strawberrys they are harder put them in this solution in a bowl and set 20 minutes so the solution gets into the bumps Try to get your mind of the virus as you are doing posting this will help you and breath deep always several times a day . Do you do any meditation or listen to relaxing music ? This helps me when I let my panic go wild. Hope you stay safe Merry

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@lioness

@merpreb So true . I have a tip here for you as far as fresh vegies . Long time ago I was listening to Dr. Oz . He said if you make a solution of vinegar and water . spray all vegies let set for a few minutes it kill the pesticides ,insecticides on vegies so I have my vinegar water bottle handy and use on all vegies and also strawberrys they are harder put them in this solution in a bowl and set 20 minutes so the solution gets into the bumps Try to get your mind of the virus as you are doing posting this will help you and breath deep always several times a day . Do you do any meditation or listen to relaxing music ? This helps me when I let my panic go wild. Hope you stay safe Merry

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@lioness– I'm sorry but I wouldn't believe anything that Dr. Oz had to say. I'm good Linda. Thank you. Am hoping that you are too.

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@merpreb

@liones- Morning Linda. I know, these are times that we've never incurred before which is one thing that is making us tense. Questions like yours about the lack of food and medicines and test kits are unprecedented and are terrifying. How do we act? and what do we do?
We've been warned against fresh loose-leaf produce but some people aren't paying attention.
Also, Linda, I think that we will just have to wait to see how private industries act in replenishing store shelves and medicines, tests kits and all things necessary for survival. Everyone is scared, and if they aren't they should be.

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Panic buying and hoarding are creating the shortage. Yes, we need to make sure we all have adequate food supply, no argument there. My children who knew alot about supply chains and logistics said there are food and household supplies in warehouses across the US. But the stores are selling out faster than they can replenish due to hoarding. The stores are doing their best. I saw online an old lady standing in front of the empty shelf crying, that breaks my heart.

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@merpreb

@liones- Morning Linda. I know, these are times that we've never incurred before which is one thing that is making us tense. Questions like yours about the lack of food and medicines and test kits are unprecedented and are terrifying. How do we act? and what do we do?
We've been warned against fresh loose-leaf produce but some people aren't paying attention.
Also, Linda, I think that we will just have to wait to see how private industries act in replenishing store shelves and medicines, tests kits and all things necessary for survival. Everyone is scared, and if they aren't they should be.

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@merpreb Merry – Curious about this – "We've been warned against fresh produce so people aren't paying attention." How did I miss this warning, and who issued it? I have been avoiding the lettuces due to ecoli risks for some time, but carrots, avocados, cabbage, or bananas and oranges can be washed effectively, broccoli and other veggies you can cook. For cooked items, heat at about 160F (56C) kills the virus.
What I read on the CDC/FDA sites last week ranked the risk of transmission on produce, if you wash it, as very low.
And I agree with you on being reluctant to believe Dr Oz or any of the other television experts

PLEASE everyone – vinegar is not cited anywhere as effective killer for Covid-19. It requires bleach or another proven disinfectant, used according to directions, or soap+water+friction to kill the virus.
Sue

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@zeiracorp Totally agree with you just do what you have to ,to survive and stay safe that's all we can do. Being my age it has its blessings but also some downfalls . I am grateful for where I am at .

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