Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Keep calm and breathe.

Keep calm and breathe.

Hello everyone.

I hope everyone is healthy and well. In light of the recent outbreak of covid-19, I feel that it is only fitting that I write about it. I, too, am worried about it and I am also saddened by the news and reports on the rising cases of the virus, but I know worrying will not help me in any situation. However, I am more sad at the way people are behaving in response to the outbreak.

It is natural that we would panic and be overwhelmed with strong emotions when we face some sort of crisis, especially one which is very uncertain and unprepared for. It is human nature to be prepared during a pandemic outbreak. I went to a supermarket last Saturday and I saw so many empty shelves. I understand that people are scared and are preparing themselves for the worst, but we need to be considerate of each other as well. The government never announced to the public that there will be shortage of food. There is more than enough food for everyone if we avoid buying more than we need. Most of us are so lucky to have a roof over our head and enough food so we could stay in and avoid contracting anything. Has anyone ever stopped to think about the less fortunate? What will they have to protect or prepare themselves if we’re only thinking about ourselves?

Therefore, it is important for us to remain calm in times like this as anxiety and stress will not be helpful at all. Both anxiety and stress are a deadly combination for a complete meltdown. We will not be able to function properly if we keep filling our mind with anxious thoughts. In moment of panic, anxiety is highly contagious and we would not be able to make appropriate decisions as it would be influenced by our negative emotions. When you feel overwhelmed by anxious thoughts and stress, remember to pause for a bit to calm down and rationalize your thoughts. We should stay positive (but remember to be realistic as well!) and avoid thinking negatively so we don’t excessively and unnecessarily worry. Why would you add more things to worry about on purpose when you have enough to worry about? If the news isn’t helping you in feeling better, you should avoid it for a while as it could further overwhelm you. Disconnect yourself from a situation where you know it will not benefit you. We also need to make sure that whatever news we hear, see or read is legitimate because they are so many inaccurate news stories and disinformation caused by people who are just anxious and panicking.

It is better for us to help each other in tough times like this. I feel that it is not right and humane for us to be acting so impulsively. We should have faith in what the world leaders are doing to handle the situation and to follow legitimate guidelines and instructions. We should develop a proper coping strategy rather than act on impulse. Panicking unnecessarily is going to make things harder for the authorities to handle the situation. We often doubt and question whether they are doing the best for us, but I believe they are more trained than us to make an appropriate crucial decision for us. Everyone is in the same boat, let’s just stay calm and help each other so we can get through this together.



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