Managing anxiety about Corona Virus - Information for adolescents
What is coronavirus?
You will have heard lots on the news and social media about coronavirus, also known as Covid-19. Covid-19 was first identified in China, but has now spread too many other countries.
Covid-19 is a new illness and so the NHS and other organisations around the world are still learning about how it is spread and how to prevent it.
Covid-19 may be like the flu and spread when you cough or sneeze.
The best way to prevent Covid-19 from spreading is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, including before you eat and after you have used the toilet. It is also recommended to wash your hands when you arrive at a location e.g. home or school.
If you cough or sneeze, it is recommended that you cover your hand and mouth with a tissue, put the tissue in the bin and then wash your hands.
If you cannot wash your hands you can use hand sanitizer, although this not as effective.
What does it look like when someone has Covid-19?
The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are similar to those of the normal flu:
- A cough
- A high temperature
- Trouble breathing normally (e.g. a tight chest)
If you do have these symptoms, it does not mean that you have Covid-19. However, you and your family will need to stay at home for two weeks. This is called self-isolation and helps stop it from spreading.
If you suspect you may have Covid-19, you can seek further support and information from the online 111 service: https://111.nhs.uk/
For up to date information about Covid-19 please see the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Managing anxiety about Coronavirus
Most people are anxious and unsure what is going on at the moment, not just about Covid-19 but family and school circumstances and the impact this may have. Asking questions and seeking advice from trusted adults or the links above may provide some clarity and answers.
Below are some ideas to help you and your family with any anxiety arising from the current situation.
Protecting yourself and being supportive to others can help you feel useful, for example checking in with a friend or an elderly neighbour. Spending time relaxing and using some of the ideas contained within this letter may help you to remain calm and think clearly. Try to separate what is in your control and what is not, and focus on what you can do to help reduce the spread like washing your hands and keeping healthy. Try and do what makes you feel safe, remembering not to compare yourself to others. Try and get some fresh air in quiet places and remember to ask for help if you require it.
If schools do get closed, it will be really important to try and maintain your normal routines as much as possible. Although it might be tempting to stay up late and sleep in, this could be unhelpful in the long run. Try to get up at a similar time to normal, make sure you get dressed each day and try to access the learning resources and activities that are available to you. Although it may be harder to see your friends, try and keep in touch by using video chat and messaging services. It might be helpful to schedule a regular catch up with your friends to help you stay connected.
There are also really helpful resources to help plan for staying at home or indoors and for taking care of your mental health and wellbeing at: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing