How do you manage anxiety surrounding Coronavirus pandemic?

Updated: Mar. 12, 2020 at 9:55 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Many of you may be feeling a lot of anxiety surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic. We spoke with a local psychologist and the U.S. Surgeon General about how you can best manage that stress for you and your family.

LSU Health Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Michelle Moore, PsyD, says it’s important to understand that having anxiety right now is normal. “The reason people are having anxiety is because there are so many unknowns in this situation and we’re getting all this conflicting information,” said Moore.

She says while New Orleanians are accustomed to preparing and dealing with hurricanes and their aftermath, we don’t know what to expect when it comes to the novel Coronavirus.

“Make sure you are prepared and have a plan in place for your family and that you are taking those kinds of precautions but the more worked up and panicked you get the worse that’s going to get, that’s not going to help your situation at all,” she said.

U.S. Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, M.D., says the most important way to manage your anxiety is to know the facts.

“We want people to understand that the novel Coronavirus we’re dealing with, 80 percent of people are going to have mild symptoms like a cold and not need any medical attention whatsoever; if they have any symptoms. Of the 20 percent who are going to need medical attention most of them, almost all of them, are going to fully recover. Only about one percent of people, by current estimates, are going to die from the novel Coronavirus and we know who those folks are, most likely to be people over the age of 80 with chronic medical conditions,” said Adams.

If you’re having anxiety, Dr. Moore says you might want to limit your time on social media.

“It might not be helpful to read some of the things people are posting if you are already anxious, and, then you are reading about somebody else’s anxiety on social media, that is just going to heighten your anxiety even more,” said Moore.

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