News Getting You Down? 3 Reasons Why You Should Not Panic
News of COVID-19 prevention measures including social distancing, shutdowns and quarantines spreading nationally has created a sense of fear and foreboding. Depleted supermarket shelves drive home the fact that when faced with the unknown, our first instinct is to panic. Read on to know why this won't help and how you can protect yourself from panic and misinformation in the age of the coronavirus.
Panic affects your comprehension
When we panic, our brains go on fight or flight mode and this affects our ability to understand what we hear, see or read. In times like these, you need to remain calm so you can better process the information. Remaining clear-headed is important because you want to make sensible decisions that will keep you safe from the disease. These decisions may include requesting a work-from-home arrangement with your boss, reaching out to neighbors, family and friends for home-schooling tips and educational resources.
Panic is contagious
When people are indiscriminately sharing worst-case scenario videos and commentary online, or see panic-buying in the local supermarkets, this creates an atmosphere of hysteria that affects many people, especially those who are prone to panic and anxiety. When you allow yourself to act impulsively in public, you are sending a message that the situation is dire and that it's a free-for-all. This could have dire consequences if you are surrounded by people who easily fall into the trap of herd behavior because they are also easily induced to panic.
Panic stops you from acting productively
Even when the situation becomes dire, panic is still going to be the worst mode that you want to be in. Panic stops you from being clear headed enough to act responsibly. Panicky people tend to make mistakes because they make rash decisions. If you stay calm, you can remain clearheaded enough to make the decisions that keep you safe.
Panic is a natural reaction to unknown situations that pose a threat. Don't dismiss the worries of others. Instead, hand out real, fact-checked information to dispel panic-inducing behavior. Most importantly, try to remain calm and level-headed.