Frightening situations like impending hurricanes, blizzards, and the current Covid-19 pandemic test us in many ways. Some of us panic shop, loading up our carts with excessive amounts of supplies, while others may ignore the situation entirely.
Our actions can make the situation better or worse. Take this opportunity to be smart, respectful of the needs of others, and step up and do what’s right for your family, your neighbors and your community.
How can we safeguard our loved ones as we help and respect others during Covid-19?
The Covid-19 pandemic is threatening the health and financial security of people across the globe. While we all want to protect our loved ones, it’s important to keep the situation in perspective.
Be sensible, but not selfish.
- Don’t hoard or stockpile items. It makes sense to have a 2-week supply of groceries, paper products and toiletries, and a 1-month supply of prescription medications, but not enough for months on end. The grocery stores and pharmacies are open, so these items can be replenished periodically.
When items like hand sanitizer and plastic gloves are hoarded, they may not be available for high-risk populations like the elderly and those with compromised immune systems or first responders. Don’t take more than you need.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, don’t go out. When you touch items in a store or a credit card processing screen, you may be transmitting your illness.
Find the support you need.
- If you’re in active recovery from substance use, addiction, or mental health challenges, understand that stress and anxiety can increase your likelihood of relapse. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your support network for help, no matter how far along you are in your recovery. Whether that’s an addiction treatment provider, groups like AA or NA, or another form of support, there are many resources out there to help maintain your recovery during times of stress.
Reach out to others.
- Although staying at home and social distancing during this pandemic is important, isolation may be dangerous for some. Isolation can lead to depression, especially for the elderly, those who live alone or those in recovery from addiction. Reach out to those in need and involve your children, if possible. Make this time a great example for younger people in your life.
If you don’t have the phone numbers of people you think may need help, reach out through neighborhood websites (like the app Nextdoor), social media or a note on their door. Let them know you are available to talk, pick up groceries or prescriptions or provide other assistance that they may need.
If you have the resources, donate to food banks, homeless shelters or groups furnishing personal protective equipment to health care workers.
Don’t listen to the hype.
- Listen to the health experts for updates and tips on how to stay healthy during this crisis. Don’t let sensationalized media stories needlessly raise your stress level. Rather than listening to the constant barrage of negative statistics, focus on the positive, like the 98 percent recovery rate from Covid-19 and inspirational stories of people helping one another.
Set a good example for your friends and family
- Take precautions seriously but don’t overreact. Stay calm, positive and communicate openly with one another. Practice stress management techniques like meditation and deep breathing. Good Housekeeping provides information and links to 11 excellent meditation apps, all of which are free or offer a free introductory trial. Introduce your children to meditation.
Lead by example in your home and your community. Don’t take more than you need and give what you can to others, including supplies, support, and compassion.
Turning Point of Tampa has been offering Licensed Residential Treatment for Addiction, Eating Disorders and Dual Diagnosis in Tampa since 1987.