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.

@sueinmn

@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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I meant to say loose, leafy veggies like lettuce and spinach. Prepackaged is best. I agree about the vinegar and water.

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@sueinmn

@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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@ sueinmn I was talking in general not about the covid-19 virus

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My daughter used to can and make jams but her work got too busy. I think now people have to really take a good look at their lifestyle. I admit, I am guilty of throwing out vegetables when they look 'sad' instead of cooking them or make soup out of them. I'll definitely find creative ways to 'stretch' what I have into more meals, and smaller portions too, making sure I have some good protein. The other day I used half can of salmon and some leftover mashed potatoes and made salmon patties, ate it with some green beans. Not exactly gourmet but still good. 😋

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Hello Everyone – How about a challenge, to exercise our brains and get our minds off the news and potential shortages? I bet everyone is just like me, with "forgotten" foods on the shelf in cupboard or pantry, and bits of "this and that" in the freezer. For the next 7 days, I plan to use only what I have on hand to prepare meals, but especially to locate at least one forgotten item and include it. For example, yesterday a friend made a run to our favorite pizzeria for takeout, and we bought enough for two meals, so tonight's supper is leftover pizza and I will supplement with the "leftover" frozen veggies (I found 3 partial bags) – it will be an interesting combo of broccoli, cauliflower, corn & green beans. Tomorrow will be pork tenderloin from the freezer, which will yield 3 meals over several days, including leftovers to be served with canned Charro beans from the cupboard (a local dish – kind of a cross between baked beans & bean soup.) Wednesday we will probably order takeout from one of the few open local restaurants, to support them and their families.
Yesterday we cooked up a big stack of blueberry pancakes from ingredients in the cupboard and refrigerator, which we are reheating for breakfast in place of boxed cereal & milk (both non-existent here right now.)
What can you find to eat without resorting to a grocery run?
Sue

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@mayofeb2020

My daughter used to can and make jams but her work got too busy. I think now people have to really take a good look at their lifestyle. I admit, I am guilty of throwing out vegetables when they look 'sad' instead of cooking them or make soup out of them. I'll definitely find creative ways to 'stretch' what I have into more meals, and smaller portions too, making sure I have some good protein. The other day I used half can of salmon and some leftover mashed potatoes and made salmon patties, ate it with some green beans. Not exactly gourmet but still good. 😋

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@tammyfab2020 Sounds good Idea I have a can so will make for supper . My son was allergic to dye,s and preservative so we put in a garden and I learned to can all vegies . Went and got Chambersburg peaches and nectarines for our fruit. I have canned here till a few years ago but will start as soon as I get lids. Freeze leftovers for soup or another day to make something with

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@sueinmn

Hello Everyone – How about a challenge, to exercise our brains and get our minds off the news and potential shortages? I bet everyone is just like me, with "forgotten" foods on the shelf in cupboard or pantry, and bits of "this and that" in the freezer. For the next 7 days, I plan to use only what I have on hand to prepare meals, but especially to locate at least one forgotten item and include it. For example, yesterday a friend made a run to our favorite pizzeria for takeout, and we bought enough for two meals, so tonight's supper is leftover pizza and I will supplement with the "leftover" frozen veggies (I found 3 partial bags) – it will be an interesting combo of broccoli, cauliflower, corn & green beans. Tomorrow will be pork tenderloin from the freezer, which will yield 3 meals over several days, including leftovers to be served with canned Charro beans from the cupboard (a local dish – kind of a cross between baked beans & bean soup.) Wednesday we will probably order takeout from one of the few open local restaurants, to support them and their families.
Yesterday we cooked up a big stack of blueberry pancakes from ingredients in the cupboard and refrigerator, which we are reheating for breakfast in place of boxed cereal & milk (both non-existent here right now.)
What can you find to eat without resorting to a grocery run?
Sue

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Great idea, Sue. Living alone and liking to cook there are often leftovers which I freeze. Inventoried my frig/freezer the other day and rearranged and grouped foods more by like-with-like Cold hands made for starts & stops but placed older in front of newer and stacked soups & casseroles in one section for if I began feeling ill. Started the same with frig this morning as was delighted to find small fresh cluster of seedless red grapes to go with unopened container of cottage cheese for lunch. 10 and 15 yr old grands get to select one on-hand food for a meal ea day and then find a recipe and do the honors in preparing it. Daughter reports some "interesting" results and meal combinations as a result. Smiles

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@enska It’s very easy to get overly stressed about our current situation, particularly if you are older or have comorbidities. My husband has the news on much too much for me so I am avoiding our family room a lot. At times I too feel a tightness in my chest and I know it is due to stress. I think it is probably pretty common. We need to be aware and conscious of what’s happening but also to get a break from it.
I was feeling very comfortable about going to get groceries if I went at non-busy hours (“senior” hours) and followed the other recommendations but now I am getting leery of that too since I am older, am on immunosuppressants, and technically have diabetes – my A1c is ridiculously low for someone with diabetes and I have had no problems from it but I know if I had to be treated for COVID-19 that would be considered as an additional problem.

@merpreb @sueinmn Here are some articles I found when I wanted to reassure my son about produce, although they did not reassure him. He worries a bit too much about us.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2020/03/13/coronavirus-how-best-handle-food-protect-yourself/5046324002/
https://www.nbc-2.com/story/41872435/coronavirus-could-live-on-fruits-vegetables-at-the-grocery-store
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-concerns-is-it-time-to-change-the-way-shoppers-handle-produce-1.4850278
https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus
@sueinmn I am already on it! I tend to purchase and put things in my pantry closet or in my big downstairs freezer and then not use them, so now I am using them. I just hope things do not have freezer burn. It will actually be good to use some of this stuff. When I mentioned having to stock up my son-in-law said I was already prepared for weeks but he tends to exaggerate.
The biggest problem though is things that don't last, like fresh dairy. I can only eat lactose-free yogurt and only Whole Foods has that in my area and they are out of it now. That's part of my breakfast rotation and I'm getting really sick of oatmeal every morning. Thankfully I do have an abundance of frozen blueberries to use in my oatmeal.
@lioness the water/vinegar solution is great for some things and I use it all of the time for my berries and sometimes for grapes too, but it will not kill this virus. It’s good for bacteria and mold spores though so that the produce will keep longer without rotting.

@zeiracorp In my opinion you make a lot of sense about fear.
JK

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@sueinmn

Hello Everyone – How about a challenge, to exercise our brains and get our minds off the news and potential shortages? I bet everyone is just like me, with "forgotten" foods on the shelf in cupboard or pantry, and bits of "this and that" in the freezer. For the next 7 days, I plan to use only what I have on hand to prepare meals, but especially to locate at least one forgotten item and include it. For example, yesterday a friend made a run to our favorite pizzeria for takeout, and we bought enough for two meals, so tonight's supper is leftover pizza and I will supplement with the "leftover" frozen veggies (I found 3 partial bags) – it will be an interesting combo of broccoli, cauliflower, corn & green beans. Tomorrow will be pork tenderloin from the freezer, which will yield 3 meals over several days, including leftovers to be served with canned Charro beans from the cupboard (a local dish – kind of a cross between baked beans & bean soup.) Wednesday we will probably order takeout from one of the few open local restaurants, to support them and their families.
Yesterday we cooked up a big stack of blueberry pancakes from ingredients in the cupboard and refrigerator, which we are reheating for breakfast in place of boxed cereal & milk (both non-existent here right now.)
What can you find to eat without resorting to a grocery run?
Sue

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Wow, you must be a great cook! Can I come over? I just read something online which rings very true… Store what you eat and eat what you store. There are people out there just buy whatever are on the shelf out of panic instead of thinking clearly about if they're even going to use them.

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Hi @zeiracorp , I am so sorry I haven't been back. I was kind of avoiding the discussion for some reason but I hope that I didn't worry anybody too much. I am fine.

I decided that I was going to assume I had COVID-19 and that it is mild. It has decreased my anxiety immensely. I've never had shortness of breath in my life so I feel like there's definitely something going on, and since I don't have a cough, I just decided it was COVID. I have a sore throat once in a great while. No fever.

This is day 10 of the breathing trouble so I'm thinking it will wrap up soon. I hope again that I didn't cause any worry!! Thank you for your concern!

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@mayofeb2020

My daughter used to can and make jams but her work got too busy. I think now people have to really take a good look at their lifestyle. I admit, I am guilty of throwing out vegetables when they look 'sad' instead of cooking them or make soup out of them. I'll definitely find creative ways to 'stretch' what I have into more meals, and smaller portions too, making sure I have some good protein. The other day I used half can of salmon and some leftover mashed potatoes and made salmon patties, ate it with some green beans. Not exactly gourmet but still good. 😋

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@mayofeb2020 I have had to update my food acquisition schedule. In "normal" life I get take out almost every day and I go to the grocery store every few days just for a few things. Now I have to plan meals and plan to get more food when I go in. It's been an adjustment!

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@enska I'm glad to hear from you I was getting worried. I'm glad your o.k. Elizabeth. My allergies are bad I have a sore throat everyday. No fever but that will happen occasionally .See we care on here .

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@enska

@mayofeb2020 I have had to update my food acquisition schedule. In "normal" life I get take out almost every day and I go to the grocery store every few days just for a few things. Now I have to plan meals and plan to get more food when I go in. It's been an adjustment!

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@enska. If you did have Covid-19 and escaped with such mild symptoms, you are very fortunate.
Please be very careful if you are going to do your shopping, Your ailment could have been something milder but may have left your defenses lower, leaving you more open to other viruses, including Covid-19 if that is not what you had. If you do opt for one of the delivery services, make sure you wipe everything down with antiseptic wipes before putting things away.
We have brown paper shopping bags lined up to put our mail in each day and rotate, not reading mail until it’s been in a bag for four days.
JK

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