Anxiety and Covid-19 Pandemic

What’s Happend So Far…

Covid-19 Coronavirus was first detected in China back in December 2019 and on January 7th it was officially identified as Coronavirus Disease 2019 strain by China. Since then it has rapidly spread around the World, causing chaos in over 100 countries. To give a brief outline of how rapid this virus has spread here are a few key dates and statistics from the last couple of months:
23rd January: 581 cases globally, 17 deaths
24th January: 2800 cases, 80 deaths. Covid-19 declared as an outbreak.
30th January: Declared a Public Health emergency by World Heath Organisation
2nd February: 14557 global cases, 305 deaths.
11th February: 43103 global cases, 1018 deaths. Considered public enemy number one by WHO.
17th February: 71429 cases, with the first deaths occurring outside of China.
24th February: 79331 global cases, with Italy, Iran and South Korea worst affected after China.
28th February: 1st case confirmed in NZ, a traveller from Iran.
29th February: panic buying of toilet roll and sanitiser. Media hysteria grows in NZ and we start to take note.
1st March: Australia and USA report their first Covid-19 deaths. Global death toll over 3000.
4th March: 2nd NZ case announced.
5th March: NZ at 3 cases of Covid-19.
8th March: NZ has 5 confirmed cases. 101927 world cases as over 100 countries are now infected.
11th March: Covid-19 declared an official pandemic by WHO.
12th March: Global cases reach 125260, with 4613 deaths. Events around the world are being cancelled.
14th March: NZ’s 6th case from overseas traveller. All incoming travellers advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

Then last week happened…
15th March: NZ increase to 8 cases. France and Spain have gone into ‘lockdown’.
17th March: NZ at 11 cases. Dunedin school closed after confirmed case. Canada, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and Denmark close their boarders.
18th March: NZ – 20 cases. World – 191,127 cases and 7807 deaths.
19th March: NZ up to 28 cases, with 2 in Taranaki (the province I live in). Indoor gatherings of over 100 people cancelled. NZ closes boarders to all overseas visitors, but urges Kiwi’s to travel home.
20th March: NZ increasing to 39 cases. Community facilities such as swimming pools, libraries, museums close. Global cases reach over 200,000.
21st March: Level 4 alert system put in place. NZ cases at 52, with possible community spread now happening. People urged to stay home and limit travel.
22nd March: NZ has 66 cases, with 2 reports in New Plymouth, where I live.

This week…
23rd March: NZ cases escalate to 102 and level 3 alert is effective immediately meaning stay at home and only travel for essential. Business are given 2 days to get organised ready for lockdown at Midnight on Wednesday, except essential services, including milking. Yay I can still go to work.
24th March: NZ at 155 cases, with 12 said to be recovered. None have been hospitalised (as far as I know). People flood to the stores panic buying ready for lockdown tomorrow. I stayed home.
25th March: 50 new cases today, bringing NZ total over 200. The country is declared a state of emergency as Kiwi’s prepare for lockdown at Midnight tonight.

Current cases: 446,946 cases, 19,811 deaths and 112,058 recovered worldwide at time of writing. Click the link for real time numbers https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

The statistics on the virus are getting very scary. We must do what we can to stop the spread of the disease and stay at home and isolate our households from others. Imagine you are already sick, carrying the virus but have no symptoms. Then think about who you come into contact with with who may not be as resilient as you. NZ is now officially in lockdown and we must stay at HOME. It can’t be that hard. Try it today, then tomorrow, then see how you go the day after and the next day, then if you have to, venture out for essential food or medical supplies. It baffles me how many people are trying to find a way to get around the rules and make this into a holiday. It is not a holiday and it is not a drill. Stay home, enjoy the quiet time, learn something new, save some money!

My Experience…

For me not much has changed. I am still working and milking the cows, being extra careful around my boss. My bike is set up on the trainer and I feel it’s OK for me to run to the end of the road and back as I never usually saw anyone anyway, but will more likely run on the farm. I have lots of projects that I have been meaning to get on with; building a bench, crocheting 2 blankets and an advent calendar, reading, meditating, home strength workouts, sorting through my clothes cupboard, organising the house a bit and de-cluttering. I’ve never been so thankful to work and live and work on a farm. My thoughts go out to all those affected by this pandemic; those who are sick or have lost loved ones, those who have lost their jobs, those with no safe place to stay, those working from home and making sacrifices and adjustments to life, those whose anxiety is in overdrive, those with messed up travel plans. Everyone is feeling the effects of Coronavirus in some aspect.

Over the last week my stress and anxiety levels have been through the roof. Not knowing what is happening and seeing the numbers increase at an alarming rate. I haven’t been able to do much about it either, as I have felt so paralysed. I stopped eating normally, fearing that if I ate too often we would run out of food too soon even though the supermarkets are still open. I haven’t exercised since the club champs race and I can feel that taking a toll on my mind and body. I’ve been worried for my brother and sister-in-law who left NZ on Saturday 14th March, just as things were really kicking off over here. My Dad and his partner are currently visiting NZ and were due to fly back to UK on Tuesday 23rd, but have headed to a friends farm where they will be more isolated and safe, as we have no room for them in our tiny one bedroom house. The weather is also beginning to turn and now is usually the time people get a cold or seasonal flu. I did feel a bit sniffly after I was caught out in a heavy shower and got soaked at work.

What can I (and you) do to ease our anxiety around this time? As a few others had commented, I felt a strange wave of relief as the country settled into lockdown. Knowing that there are measures in place to try and keep as many people safe as possible is helping me feel like we have some control over this. I will not be leaving the bubble unless it is to get food. I have dug out my colouring pencils and found some printable colouring pages, so I am excited to give that a go. I will also be making a strong effort to mediate every day. I was doing well with my practise, but since the 2W Enduro everything seems to have fallen apart. My bike is set up in the shed and I have the goal to get up to 210Watts FTP, which will be quite the challenge and will require me to eat and sleep well too. I will also be making an effort to limit my time on social media. I still want to post and create content, but getting sucked into the hype, and now online arguments about what you can and cant do is no helping anyone. It is a great communication tool and I have made a list of those people I will check in with regularly. You might be isolated and on your own, but you can still make meaningful connections online and not feel lonely.

I’m actually looking forward to being still for a bit. The world rushes round so fast and we can easily loose sight of the little things that matter. Don’t look to fill your day with tasks just to keep busy. Now is the time to find the peace within ourselves amongst that chaos of the outside.

I hope everyone stays safe and well.
Lj xx

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