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Mass Psychosis? How To Resist The General Confusion Over The Coronavirus - Society
Mass Psychosis? How To Resist The General Confusion Over The Coronavirus - Society

Video: Mass Psychosis? How To Resist The General Confusion Over The Coronavirus - Society

Video: Mass Psychosis? How To Resist The General Confusion Over The Coronavirus - Society
Video: Coronavirus reaction is 'mass hysteria': Interactive Brokers' Thomas Peterffy 2023, March

The coronavirus pandemic scares us for many reasons. Changed lifestyles and isolation, alarming forecasts of an increase in morbidity, concern for the health of loved ones at risk - all this contributes to the destabilization of the psyche. How to deal with the onset of panic and not succumb to general confusion?

Worry, anxiety and stress are the normal response of a healthy psyche to the situation of uncertainty and drastic changes that marked the spring of 2020. However, these emotions can "overflow", making it impossible to think soberly and even more so to continue to work and take care of loved ones. More than ever, taking care of yourself becomes an important task, the ability to track the first alarm bells and cope with them without bringing the situation to critical.

No general confusion

Panic can manifest itself in different forms: from impulsive actions to withdrawal into complete denial. This is already evident in regions where, due to the spread of COVID-19, the population is advised to reduce social contacts and self-isolate when typical symptoms appear.

In supermarkets, shelves 1 with dry cereals, canned food and, for some reason, toilet paper are empty - many make food supplies, succumbing to the fear of hunger, "sewn" into the historical memory of our people. At the same time, quite often there are statements 2 that the new virus is supposedly an invention of the world authorities, aimed at destroying the economies of leading countries, or that its danger is too inflated. This reaction is very similar to total denial - a characteristic defensive reaction to a traumatic event.

Calm, only calm

First of all, you need to remember that taking care of yourself is not a luxury and not a business that can be "postponed until better times." Your ability to respond flexibly and adaptively to new living conditions largely depends on how stable your psyche turns out to be - whether it is switching to remote work or looking for a new one, organizing distance learning for children or the need to comply with quarantine measures. Of course, there is no universal recipe for maintaining peace of mind for everyone - the psyche of each person is too individual.

However, a few general guidelines can help you cope with excessive anxiety

Allow yourself to feel

Fear, anxiety, confusion, anger are normal, and it is extremely important to recognize your own right to these emotions. An attempt to drive these feelings inside will only lead to their accumulation and, probably, to a natural "explosion", the effect of which can be quite destructive for yourself and for those around you.

An effective solution is to speak out your feelings to people who are ready to listen to you without discounting and unnecessary advice

If there are no such people or they themselves are in a depressed state, thematic Internet communities can come to the rescue, for example, "Support Group in Difficult Psychological Situations" 3, or at least a personal diary in which you can throw out everything that has accumulated.

Observe information hygiene

"Whipping up" the situation in fruitless discussions and gloomy forecasts can intensify the manifestation of irrational fears, destabilizing the psyche. If you feel that an abundance of negative news is exacerbating your anxiety, you have succumbed to general confusion, it may be worth clearing the news channels of the sources of anxiety for a while. Try to reconfigure your social media feeds so that the focus of attention is on positive events or discussions that are not related to the pandemic or its consequences, refuse to watch television news, replacing them with films, series or books that you enjoy. Moreover, many online cinemas announced 4 preferential or free screenings.

Make a "contingency plan"

Panic often becomes a reaction to a situation that we are unable to control. To regain inner confidence, you can create scenarios for your own actions in emergency situations: the need for isolation in an apartment or in a hospital, illness of family members, etc. To avoid "getting stuck" thoughts about dangers in your head, it is better to write these plans on paper and remove in an accessible, but not constantly visible place (for example, in a notebook or in a drawer). If you feel that you will be calmer if you have stocks at home in case of quarantine, stock up on non-perishable food for a three-week "autonomous" existence and a month's supply of drugs that you take on an ongoing basis. Such a technique, on the one hand, will help to "unload" from obsessive fears, and on the other hand, it can help to collect,if events really take a serious turn.

Use Grounding Practices

The main source of anxiety is the uncertainty of the situation in the future, the fear of which can be so strong that it completely paralyzes the will and leads to the formation of neurotic symptoms. To neutralize this fear, psychologists advise using the practice of "grounding", that is, addressing yourself and the world around you "here and now." Such practices can be special body-oriented or auto-training exercises 5, yoga, meditation, or even ordinary household routines like washing dishes or preparing food. Choose the relief methods that are right for you and use them when you feel anxiety is starting to run high.

Consult online

The psychological community has responded to the difficult situation with the pandemic and the forced isolation of many people by transferring their consultations to a virtual 6 or telephone format, and in some cases by changing the payment system for their work. If you feel that you cannot cope with the growing stress on your own, you have begun to succumb to general confusion, ask for the help of specialists - especially since now it is enough to have a phone or smartphone with an installed online messenger for this.

And, perhaps, the most important thing is to remember that any crisis ends sooner or later, and it is in our power to do everything to get out of it not only with minimal losses, but also with useful experience 7.

Maybe now is the time when we can pay a little more attention to ourselves and our loved ones, learn to listen to our own feelings and help those who need it? From this, everyone will only benefit.


  1. Ishchenko N. Metro stores change operating hours due to coronavirus // Vedomosti. - 2020-19-03. - URL: (date accessed: 2020-21-03).
  2. "There is no coronavirus and will not be!": Russian pensioners accused Trump of the coronavirus pandemic // TCE. - 2020-20-03. - URL: (date accessed: 2020-21-03).
  3. Support group in difficult psychological situations // Blackberry Foundation. - URL: (date accessed: 2020-21-03).
  4. Boletskaya K. Video services decided to take advantage of the beginning quarantine // Vedomosti. - 2020-16-03. - URL: (date accessed: 2020-21-03).
  5. Lapina Y. 6 types of exercises for grounding with anxiety and intense emotions // OrganicWoman. - 2017-27-09. - URL: (date accessed: 2020-21-03).
  6. SFedU opens Psychological service online // Southern Federal University. - 2020-20-03. - URL: (date accessed: 2020-21-03).
  7. A high alert mode was introduced throughout Russia due to the coronavirus // Takie Dela. - 2020-19-03. - URL: (date of access: 2020-21-03).

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