Tel-Hai Magazine - Fall 2020

Corona Anxiety In situations of threat and fear, we tend to fill the gaps in information with rumors. They can appear through word of mouth and through social media. It is clear that in most cases the intention is not to arouse panic or to scare people. The authors feel a need to share unchecked information out of a desire to feel control of a situation in which we do not have control. The illusory information gives them a sense of control. But the damage caused as a result of misinformation harms all of us. First of all the person about whom the rumor is spread, but afterwards also wider circles. For example, if there is a rumor that at a particular workplace a particular employee has been quarantined or has been found to be ill with the novel corona virus, the site immediately suffers economically, without the facts having been verified. In situations of panic we tend to follow rumors because we are looking for confirmation of our fears. Recommendations Each of us is responsible, just as we are responsible for washing our hands, for following the instructions of the Ministry of Health, and for avoiding crowded places. Our responsibility tells us stop! Do not spread rumors. If someone is in quarantine that does not mean they are ill! It means that the person was in an area where they may have be infected. There is no need to turn the person into a leper. On the contrary, call, take an interest in the person. Clarify why they are in quarantine. Check if you can bring something they need, even if you cannot go into their home. The virus cannot pass through doors. You can leave whatever they or their family need by the door and let them know. If there are children in quarantine, encourage your children, their friends, to reach out on social media, play interactive games with them and so forth. Let’s remember. The novel corona virus will pass – but our friendships and connections will remain. Let’s remember, after COVID-19 we will still want to go shopping. It’s our responsibility to ensure that businesses don’t close because of rumors that keep customers away. COVID-19 is a new, frightening and challenging event. Let’s not turn it into a disaster. Let’s show responsibility, caring and sensitivity to others. Remember, tomorrow it could be any one of us.

It is very important that we try to define roles within the routine imposed upon us. If you are not in quarantine, try to preserve routine roles and if you need information in order to feel in control, define the times when you will receive updates so that it doesn’t disturb your regular functions. Being busy and active is very effective. If you are in quarantine, try to define roles, both for adults and children. For children it is even more important that they have roles and responsibilities, even small ones. A role takes us from passivity to activity and this creates a sense of control. Therefore you can also decide on sports activities at home [if you aren’t suffering from symptoms of illness] and invent roles and jobs [such as the child who waters the plants once every two days, feeds the fish, etc.]. Involve family members in planning menus and as much as possible in food preparation. This will give them a role. It is important to remind ourselves about what hasn’t changed. What can we identify that isn’t impacted despite the situation? Do I have habits or routines that give me a good feeling and that I can perform now? I can remind myself how I coped in previous situations, what helped me and how I can use that [perhaps with changes] today. I can take care to do something every day that makes me feel good, something I can do in the framework of the limitations. I can distract myself with movies/reading/games. I can reassure myself and my family that the situation will end, that every situation, even the worst, eventually ends. We can, right now, plan what we want to do when all this is over, something fun to mark the end of this period. For those for whom it is appropriate, pray and compose prayers or read Psalms. Remember that the more we succeed in preserving part of our continuity of role, our sense of control over our lives will increase.

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