Kate Hawkesby on coronavirus: We need to be proactive, not panicky

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Mon, 9 Mar 2020, 11:05AM
We need to keep a check on our immune systems, not our toilet paper supply, writes Kate Hawkesby. (Photo / Getty)

Kate Hawkesby on coronavirus: We need to be proactive, not panicky

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Mon, 9 Mar 2020, 11:05AM

I don’t know about you but I’m getting Coronavirus fatigue.

Like all news cycles, I feel like its run its course of being front page headline fodder. The glaring example of that was yesterdays “No new cases” headline. We are now reporting that there is nothing to report.

One of the key things I’ve learned throughout all this is that not living in fear and instead working to support our immune systems is a very good idea. It sure beats the alternative, which is to panic.

Being proactive about being preventative applies to all healthcare, but we so often focus on the fixes at the bottom of the cliff, instead of dealing to it at the top. Yes, we should wash hands and clean communal surfaces, but also, we should be boosting our immune systems so the chances of us getting anything at all are reduced.

So how do we do that?

Well, according to what I’ve read, by reducing stress (that includes reducing how much you’re stressing about Coronavirus), by getting good sleep, by eating well, by regularly exercising - all the things we know we should do, but often forget to.

By reducing our consumption of social media, by acknowledging that not everything we read needs to be alarmist and taken at face value.

But also, did you know you can even boost your immune system by just being positive? Easier said than done a lot of the time, but still, it’s worth a shot.

I also think it benefits our kids too, who have enough to worry and be anxious about with global warming, the ice caps melting and everything else they’re taught to be afraid of. I don’t know that parents panic buying toilet paper and donning face masks is the most reassuring thing for kids to see. Especially when it’s not necessary.

I was at the supermarket with my daughter yesterday and we saw about three people with face masks on while we were there. She asked me if they had Coronavirus, I told her probably not, but perhaps they just don’t want it and they’re being extra careful.

She asked if we should have masks on. I said no. But you can see how panic leads to panic. I was panicking about the shopping itself, that if I saw toilet paper maybe I should snap it up because the panic buyers were making me panic that it’s running out!

My mother in law was up from Christchurch this weekend and she was bemused by it all, what she called “a very Auckland thing”. But it’s not just Auckland, there have been arrests and tasers and all out punch ups in Australia over panic buying, Tesco’s in the UK has had to start rationing, Italy went beserk emptying shelves, so we’re not alone.

But with our number of confirmed cases sitting globally speaking very low at five, I think it’s prudent we all take some positive action like trying to boost our immune systems, rather than fear-driven actions like panic buying hand sanitizer.