Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

Dealing with COVID-19 Overload

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fritz_monroe:
For the most part, I'm a "glass half full" sort of person.  I don't get wound up over potential emergencies.

My wife is not this way.  By default, she looks for the worst possible outcome to any situation.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, there's so much information instantly available.  My wife is constantly watching the news, looking online for the latest numbers of cases in our state and worrying about coming into contact with infected people.

I'm constantly trying to down play the situation, but it's getting pretty tiring on my part.

Cutting off new information will just make her mind go racing on the horrible possibilities.

What are you guys doing to try to talk the stressing family members down off the ledge when it comes to the current pandemic?

LvsChant:
Well... since we are pretty well prepared and also pretty much self-isolating, we don't think we are in any real danger in the short-run. I'm guessing it is the same for you and your family.

Maybe you could inspire her to be a positive influence and means of moral support for her friends who maybe don't know as much about what to do? If she would look for the upsides to the news (possible new treatments, conversion of US manufacturing to make PPE equipment for our healthcare workers, the fact that spring is on the way and plenty of opportunities to grow excess food to share with neighbors, etc.) maybe she would see her own power to influence her friends in a more positive way, rather than being fed by their negativity and fear.

Maybe she could spend her time trying to find ways around shortages and sharing these ideas with her friends... thinking of ways to help her neighbors, etc. to reduce this problem. For example, websites that are direct shipping free of charge for household needs (Walgreens, et al.).

Is there some need in your local area that she could safely help with? Maybe your church needs people to make phone calls to the homebound or elderly to see how they are doing... Maybe she has knowledge on the particulars of gardening in your region, plus extra seed to share? Those things could be managed without contact with her friends and chat group. Even seed sharing could be managed through the mail, etc.

Maybe if she focuses her energy in positive ways, it will distract her from the negative...

I have become a bit weary of the silliness of some of my online FB friends -- even some who have been good friends for years... encourage her to "snooze" them for awhile to keep the annoyance out of her feeds. I find that makes my day a little brighter and less irritating.

Sorry, Fritz... in the meantime, of course, we are here for you, too!!!

Chemsoldier:
I ask them what decisions they need to make. Do you have enough information to make that decision?  Will more information help you make a better decision?  Even if yes...how much better a decision for what investment of time, effort, and upset?

Do you consider COVID-19 a threat?  Do you act the way you should to discourage transmission of the virus?  Do you live in a prepared house? 

The other tact I take is that the virus operates at its own pace.  We are used to being able to increase the velocity of understanding through looking harder...by reading more reports, articles, etc.  Look, this thing isnt visible without testing, and it will not incubate any f***ing faster just because we want to know if measures are working.  A person's worry cannot be harnessed to helpful expediting of this crisis.  It is a real slow motion train wreck.  If we implement the best measures to mitigate it, we get to watch things get worse for at least two weeks before we see ANY improvement.  It will throw us a weird signal, we will do the right thing and continue to watch stuff get worse.  We are used to instant feedback in the information economy.

I am taking a break from the internet news today.  I made my fresh veg run to the store this morning and picked up a Wall Street Journal.  That is my news today.  The internet will be waiting for me tomorrow.  I am set enough I dont need to go out again for a while.  I dont need the latest intel on who has dishsoap in stock or whether an intersection that I aint traveling though is closed.

I think Colorado will go to shelter in place at some point, or at least the front range will, but we are set here at the house for a month or more...much more if we go really spartan.  I feel for those who are not set and have to keep venturing out.  Maybe reduce the signal as much as possible.  Stop following national and internation news as close.  Listen to local radio and TV as much as possible.  You might need to cut out panicky friends if you find they are disrupting your calm. 

I have a relation who is a worry wart but is really into guns.  I planned my conversation talking points ahead of time to have things that would interest him that steered him off of the crisis.

Mr. Bill:
Mike Pence is not a person I normally listen to for wisdom, but this was a pretty good statement he made last Friday: "Do not be afraid, be vigilant.  All the experts tell us that the risk of serious illness to the average American for the coronavirus is low, but we need every American to put into practice the president’s coronavirus guidelines."

It's really hard to find balance.  I don't care how good a prepper you are, you are probably not completely prepared for this.  I know I'm not.

On the one hand, this is a simple adversary.  With mere soap and social distancing, we can hold it back while treatments and vaccines are developed.

On the other hand, we need MOST of us doing soap and social distancing, and a large fraction of the population doesn't believe, or doesn't care.

On the other other hand, we all have things to do that we believe are important.  Peole have to earn money, they have to buy food.  Heck, my wife and I are closing on the purchase of a new house in 8 days.  Was that brilliant timing, or what?  So we're doing everything we can via Internet, and we'll probably do some of the moving ourselves, but eventually we've gotta hire strong people with a truck.  Is that an essential service?  Are we taking excessive risks, or putting them at risk?  The news changes every day, so how can you plan?

It's a difficult and confusing time.

But overloading on pandemic news is harmful.  Gotta trim it down somehow.  Go for the most "sciency" sources, avoid the panic-mongers.  Not easy.

fritz_monroe:
Thanks guys.  I just keep trying to "talk her down" when she gets all spun up.

The benefit of this is that I'm going to use this to get more prepared after it's over.  She always just accepted the prepping I was doing as it's a weird thing that Fritz is going to do.  She never really got it that there would be a reason to prep.  Now she's getting it and it won't be as much of a challenge in the future.

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