Picture it: I'm sitting at home, self-isolating, scrolling through Instagram and watching The Good Place, and it hits me. A cough. And another. I've been pretty relaxed through all of this coronavirus panic, so at first I wasn't too worried, but then I couldn't shake it. I tried eating to get rid of what felt like a tickle in my throat, I tried drinking tea, but nothing was stopping me from coughing. Then the panic sets in "What if I got COVD-19?"
Generally my immediate response to panic is to plan. So I start thinking about who all I will need to contact at work, how I'm going to get enough groceries to last me at least two weeks, who all have I been in contact with the past two weeks.
The next thing I did was I went to my government's online self checker tool. Low and behold, I don't have COVID-19. Surprise, surprise, my brain took one tidbit of information and ran wild with it.
With all of the fear mongering and misinformation that's on the internet, especially social media, these days, I've had a number of people check in to see how I'm handling it with my anxiety. Since my anxiety is (luckily in this case) mostly social, I haven't had any panic. But you never know when that one thing is going to happen to make your mind go crazy.
Anyways, I wanted to remind everyone that during this time it is just as important to take care of your mental health as your physical health. As a society, we are going through a major panic right now and it's very easy to let it get to you. As someone who fights online misinformation every day, make sure to check the source of information before you get too worked up about it. In this particular case, your best resources are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more commonly known as the CDC, and the World Health Organization.
And no matter what anyone says, do what is best for you. You are the expert on your own mental health and the best judge of what action is right for you. So stay well and we will all get through this together