It’s no secret to anyone that the air is eerie right now. Walking my dog down our street, we’re giving the other pet owners short and polite acknowledgments instead of the enthusiastic, warm, and drawn-out greetings we usually give. Everyone is feeling pressure to keep their distance, and keep interactions brief for their own health, and out of respect to others who are concerned about the spread of germs. I can’t recall ever experiencing something like this in my lifetime before. Everything is getting cancelled. Everything. I work from home, but I cannot imagine what life is about to be like for those who must go into a physical location to make money. Either they will continue to do so, and potentially put their health at risk, or they won’t be able to do so, due to business closures, and find their finances at risk.
I was at the grocery store today, and that was a strange place. I couldn’t decide if I should be grocery shopping for the tasty recipes I’d like to try this week, or if I should be buying massive quantities of non-perishable foods, in case supplies run out for a while. Fresh salmon, or canned? Baked muffins, or canisters of oatmeal? I felt competitive with the other shoppers. I was watching them all, seeing if anybody knew something I didn’t about what we should stock up on, and whether or not I should try to grab it before they did. Is that already a peek into how I’d behave if a true apocalypse happened? Would I be a survivalist? Would I compete with others for supplies? It’s a frightening thought.
Maybe there is some comfort in knowing that we are all having these experiences right now. Here are ways Coronavirus may be affecting your psyche.
Every cough is a concern
If I hear someone so much as clear their throat, I move away from them as quickly as possible while covering my face and then keeping a close, laser-like focus on that person to make sure they don’t come near me. If somebody coughs, sneezes, or sniffles, I start believing I can see other symptoms on them, and even begin to feel them on myself. I don’t know if I’m just a hypochondriac or rightfully concerned.