I’ve Been Avoiding Crowds Since Before It Was Cool

Coronavirus, or COVID-19. It seems to be all anyone is talking about these days, so let’s talk about it. It is, of course, a new strain of the coronavirus that is causing panic as it spreads around the globe. And the best defense that experts can offer is to wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and avoid crowded areas.

To the first point, I would hope people were already doing this. However, since it seems people haven’t been (judging by how often people have to be reminded nowadays), that is one of the many reasons I’ve been preemptively partaking in the third step for years. Of course, the other reason is my social anxiety, blah, blah, blah, more on that in a minute.

The first thing I want to say applies primarily to people who already battle anxiety disorders, and who might be struggling more since the coronavirus hit. The rest of you, you can go back to making homemade hand sanitizer out of vodka and I will meet you all in the next paragraph. However, for those of you are battling anxiety disorders, it is understandable that when you are scared of the world because of the demons your mind creates, that a threat like the coronavirus hits for that anxiety to go into overdrive. it is nothing to be embarrassed about. However, it is also nothing you can control, so long as you are already taking the steps listed above. I won’t tell you to calm down, because I know how hard that is, but hopefully being mindful of the fact you are already doing everything you can will distract you so that you can live your lives.

And for the rest of you, those of you who have been lucky enough to not have issues with major anxiety disorder, and who might be getting a little cabin fever right now because of your own self-quarantine procedures, I have some tips. Really, just one tip. Stop it, put down the vodka sanitizer, and go outside. Spring is coming, and there are lots of reasons to enjoy being outside. I have avoided large crowds because of the anxiety my mind creates, so I feel safe in saying that if you take the basic precautions listed above, chances are reality will be far better than the nightmares in your mind. Letting fear control your life, well, simply put, it isn’t a way to live.

And finally, one genuine word of caution. If you are seeing the elderly or those who are already immunocompromised, then that is the one time you should absolutely take extra precautions, up to and including changing your plans. And if you are the one immunocompromised, speak with a healthcare professional before you have any concerns. This advice, however, is based on the facts we have, not on the fear-mongering of the media.

All of this has been a long-winded way of saying that yes, coronavirus is serious and should be taken seriously. However, part of taking something seriously is not letting fear override facts. Live your lives, practice basic hygiene, and don’t try gargling bleach. Life is simply too short for all of that, especially if you are the one gargling bleach (seriously, stop it, you stop it right now).

And until next time, thanks for reading, and be well.

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