Let’s be honest: Everyone is scared right now.
As the Coronavirus continues to weave its way around the world and more cities issue shelter-in-place orders, it’s perfectly normal to feel frightened. While experts say that it’s crucial to recognize your fear, it’s also vitally important that we don’t shut down, or give in to the panic, and that we don’t stop helping each other in this time of need.
The most in-demand items right now are common things we normally take for granted. Things like toilet paper, Tylenol, cold medicines, soaps, cleaning supplies, and hand sanitizer top the list. Most major grocery stores and pharmacies are shifting hours and working with suppliers to keep the most-needed items in stock, but there are still shortages as people continue to panic buy.
For those who are immunocompromised or those who are sick, over-buying, and hoarding items that you don’t need can be a matter of life and death. Dr. Michael Wetter is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist, who is still seeing patients in his office. He says that taking from others to serve yourself is not the right way to deal with the panic you feel. While he notes that it’s important to have the medications and foods you need to get you through a week, it’s essential to recognize that once your needs are met, that’s enough. He also suggests that you support and help your neighbors and friends right now, too.
“I think feeling like we can do something, finding some way to take action is crucial right now,” Wetter said. “And, if you can take an action to help someone else, you will ultimately feel better.”
Here are some ways you can make a difference in your community and support those in need while maintaining a safe social distance.