Terrified reading the news. Afraid of getting COVID-19

Posted by Elizabeth @enska, Mar 22 4:06am

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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You are not alone. Please try not to panic. Visualizing germs all over everything is counterproductive and will elevate anxiety for sure. Take what measures you can (read the advisories), and then know you did the best you could and then try & let it (and yourself) rest. We spray and wipe shoes and sanitize hands on return from any outing. I sanitize my hands and steering wheel on coming out of any store or business I have to visit. I maintain all the other things we're supposed to be doing to the best of my ability (I see other people not practising social physical distancing like they should be).

I already have years of job stress and the anxiety that goes with it and have learned to keep it in check. Now "working from home" brings it right into my house 24/7. My spouse and I both have serious health issues. We have financial difficulties. I assure you we are NOT "livin' the dream," as they say (whoever "they" are, LOL). Our cars and house are falling apart and there is no money to fix it. Still have car payments even on old high-mileage cars.
This pandemic introduced more stressors: the disease itself and the measures to try & avoid it; the worry of the supply chain being interrupted and despite our efforts to have some ahead, we are still nowhere near where i wanted to be if something like this happened. There are immediate and long-term economic implications of all this that are very real and are beginning right now. It could get incredibly ugly.

It's hard to push this all back and deal with it, but knowing that you are not alone in it does help.

I do the following:

-try to sleep when I can (even if I have two phones and a tablet by my bed for work).

-listen to music I like.

-take solace in our pet companions – their zen is contagious if one lets it be.

-try to watch movies (but I'm having trouble keeping interested enough to watch one all the way through because of preoccupation and hyper-vigilence; I still try, and once in a while I do finish one)

-participate in discussions and if there's someone you can talk to or text with, do so

-When it seems to be really nagging at me, I pause and take inventory – still breathing (yes); still have a roof over me (yes); still have a lot of things to help me survive (yes); still have at least a couple of contacts (yes); etc.

Try to be positive and there are a lot of people on here who will help you.
There are always a surprising number of people in a community who will help. This disease complicates it but it does not eliminate it.

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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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@merpreb

@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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We are not quarantined and there is no requirement to self-quarantine at this point. We have not been exposed to any known case of infection and we are allowed to (and have to) obtain essentials – food, water,etc. When we do so we observe necessary precautions. That is where we are at this point. I know how to protect myself and my family. My line of work requires it.

You state, "Since you have been out and about I would self-quarantine yourself until you are cleared of having the virus." That makes no sense. Going out and getting supplies here in PA is not prohibited (did everyone else who got supplies have to be quarantined and tested? No, they did not.). There is NO reason for me to believe I have the disease. If I had "someone else to run errands," would they have to be quarantined? No. I have had a lot of training and this train of thought is not founded in any procedure or logic. At no point did I say I suspect I have ANY infection or exposure to any infection.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32081636
Before this is over, we, and millions of others will have to be 'out and about' again at some point. We should minimize going out and minimize contact with others and with sources of infection when we do go out. I already know the preventive measures to take and I'm not going to list them all here.

I'm sorry about your cancer. I lost my younger brother to a form of cancer in 2017.

Note: I am not a medical professional and nothing I post constitutes medical or legal advice.

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@anonymous160257

You are not alone. Please try not to panic. Visualizing germs all over everything is counterproductive and will elevate anxiety for sure. Take what measures you can (read the advisories), and then know you did the best you could and then try & let it (and yourself) rest. We spray and wipe shoes and sanitize hands on return from any outing. I sanitize my hands and steering wheel on coming out of any store or business I have to visit. I maintain all the other things we're supposed to be doing to the best of my ability (I see other people not practising social physical distancing like they should be).

I already have years of job stress and the anxiety that goes with it and have learned to keep it in check. Now "working from home" brings it right into my house 24/7. My spouse and I both have serious health issues. We have financial difficulties. I assure you we are NOT "livin' the dream," as they say (whoever "they" are, LOL). Our cars and house are falling apart and there is no money to fix it. Still have car payments even on old high-mileage cars.
This pandemic introduced more stressors: the disease itself and the measures to try & avoid it; the worry of the supply chain being interrupted and despite our efforts to have some ahead, we are still nowhere near where i wanted to be if something like this happened. There are immediate and long-term economic implications of all this that are very real and are beginning right now. It could get incredibly ugly.

It's hard to push this all back and deal with it, but knowing that you are not alone in it does help.

I do the following:

-try to sleep when I can (even if I have two phones and a tablet by my bed for work).

-listen to music I like.

-take solace in our pet companions – their zen is contagious if one lets it be.

-try to watch movies (but I'm having trouble keeping interested enough to watch one all the way through because of preoccupation and hyper-vigilence; I still try, and once in a while I do finish one)

-participate in discussions and if there's someone you can talk to or text with, do so

-When it seems to be really nagging at me, I pause and take inventory – still breathing (yes); still have a roof over me (yes); still have a lot of things to help me survive (yes); still have at least a couple of contacts (yes); etc.

Try to be positive and there are a lot of people on here who will help you.
There are always a surprising number of people in a community who will help. This disease complicates it but it does not eliminate it.

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My apologies- This was meant for @enska. Take care!

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@merpreb

My apologies- This was meant for @enska. Take care!

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Understood. I was trying to wrap my mind around self-quarantine, lol. If I fit the category I would do so to protect others. People are freaking out and they need to try not to do so. I feel really bad for the store staff that are still working and for emergency responders & hospital/medical staff. They are really in a precarious position.
Stay safe and I wish you the best.

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@anonymous160257 Be safe You sound like your well trained for protection as a retired nurse I know we can do this those that fluff it off are putting themselves and others in harm's way .One thing I shared here at our senior building we can use our art work and share it with others by posting up on bulletine boards Life is tough no matter what that is

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@lioness

@anonymous160257 Be safe You sound like your well trained for protection as a retired nurse I know we can do this those that fluff it off are putting themselves and others in harm's way .One thing I shared here at our senior building we can use our art work and share it with others by posting up on bulletine boards Life is tough no matter what that is

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You too, be safe.
I liked the visual thread John started here. I've always liked photography and art. I get a lot out of positive imagery/visualization.
Senior building – a really potentially precarious place to be during this. Hope everybody is super-careful. Again, best wishes for a safe trip through all this.

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@anonymous160257 I remember we use to have to shut down the nursing home where I worked for just the flue it was so bad . People need to learn to stay at home and not to take this non chilant sp?

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@lioness

@anonymous160257 I remember we use to have to shut down the nursing home where I worked for just the flue it was so bad . People need to learn to stay at home and not to take this non chilant sp?

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Yes, they need to take it seriously.

I was sitting here snoring in the chair….. Phone just woke me up. LOL

…nonchalantly, btw

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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, Elizabeth. It's been 15 hours since you started this discussion and I don't see any responses or acknowledgements by you. Are you ok?

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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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@windwalker

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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Going on my second week of work-from-home. Concerned about not only the disease, but where we are going as far as food and necessity supply chain. Economies at stake. Tense, frightened, and potentially desperate people which will get worse if they can't get necessities. I feel like I'm in a post-apocalyptic movie. All we need is zombies (a little gallows humor there, but people can act like zombies).

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@anonymous160257

Going on my second week of work-from-home. Concerned about not only the disease, but where we are going as far as food and necessity supply chain. Economies at stake. Tense, frightened, and potentially desperate people which will get worse if they can't get necessities. I feel like I'm in a post-apocalyptic movie. All we need is zombies (a little gallows humor there, but people can act like zombies).

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@anonymous160257– 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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