What NOT To Do During A Health Crisis Or Natural Disaster

It doesn’t matter who you are, you’ve probably been involved in at least one major crisis in your life whether personally or vicariously. How to manage anxiety and the ensuing crisis varies individually. “Social media leads people to do stupid things,” said Kevin Delaney, Editor of Quartz when referring to passengers carelessly risking their lives to get a picture of a burning airplane. This is just one example of one situation Love My Maids recommends you DON’T do. For your safety follow these tips: 

#1 Don’t Ignore the Problem 

Most everyone knows the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. It tells of a shepherd who yelled for help when he didn’t need it, twice. On the third time, he was eaten by the wolf when no one came to help him. It might feel like a lot of times the media does this and we think that whatever new crisis is coming up, isn’t really that big of the deal. But most times, it’s best that you take things like the COVID-19 pandemic seriously. The media may blow up the problem, but it’s up to you to discern fact from fiction then take the appropriate action and NOT get eaten! 

#2 Don’t Panic or Freeze 

When dealing with a disaster, it’s hard not to become overwhelmed by life blowing up in your face. “The brain has a very limited capacity for processing new information,” says Sarita Robinson, a psychologist at the University of Central Lancashire. Therefore, it’s important to treat medical conditions like dealing with anxiety, continue your medication and therapy, EDUCATE yourself concerning the facts, and knowing how you handle a crisis situation in advance is another way to help manage anxiety, stress, and paranoia.  

#3 Don’t Stop to Watch or Record a Natural Disaster 

Whether dangerous or life-threatening, a natural disaster is a wonderous sight to see. However, staying behind while trying to capture the events of the disaster not only puts you in danger but threatens the lives around you and for those who may be trying to rescue you. Be smart. The news will more than cover the disaster and if it’s money you’re after, well money won’t matter if the worst happens to you. 

#4 Don’t Spread Rumors 

“As the fear level rises…, so does hearsay, hoaxes, magical thinking—everything that seems to accompany every epidemic, down through the centuries,” says Jim Beckerman, writer for NorthJersey.com. Whether you’re facing a natural disaster or an outbreak, know the facts before you let panic control your decisions to shoot off your mouth and spread fear. 

#5 Don’t Use Public Transportation During an Outbreak 

In a time of a health crisis, you may not have the luxury of taking time off of work or working from home. If possible, use personal transportation and avoid public transportation. “The combination of [hordes] of people, all tightly packed in tubes and all touching the same handles and doors is not ideal when avoiding an illness,” says Roberto Wakerell-Cruz, writer of The Post Millennial. If you must use public transportation, then wear appropriate cover for your face and hands. 

#6 Don’t Gather Socially in Medium/Large Groups During an Outbreak 

Benjamin Franklin said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” A surefire way to turn an outbreak into an epidemic is to ignore the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) warnings and continue to gather in medium to large groups and spread the outbreak, making it deadly rather than containable. Instead, for the sake of your friends and family, self-isolate and maintain your distance when going out. 

#7 Don’t Hoard Supplies 

When tragedy strikes, it’s human nature to ‘hunt and gather’ supplies to protect your family. However, Sarita Robinson says, “In a disaster, the speed at which we think through our options goes from bad to worse.” It’s crucial for the health and survival of your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to take only what you NEED so that everyone has an ample supply of goods and materials. 

#8 Don’t Resell Supplies for Profit 

We are all in this together. “Amazon said it had recently removed hundreds of thousands of listings and suspended thousands of sellers’ accounts for price gouging…,” says Jack Nicas, writer for The New York Times. It’s a selfish act to try and profiteer off of people who are trying to survive during a state of panic. Moreover, it puts you and others at greater risk of contracting or spreading the outbreak if they can’t buy the supplies needed at the gouging prices. 

We can’t predict or delay a natural disaster or world-wide pandemic. However, we can prevent further damage and loss of life just by staying calm, being smart, behaving kindly, avoiding gossip, and taking the situation seriously. Living is often naturally challenging and stressful, so if disaster strikes you remember to take a few, slow deep breaths (this really does work) and know YOU’VE GOT THIS!

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Ginger Whitson

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