26 March 2020
Sharing news on the latest search for a vaccine for novel coronavirus and suggested advice on coping with stress, fear and uncertainty
In the latest news from Japan it is claimed in the Nikkei Asian Review, today, Thursday, an influenza medicine developed by a Fujifilm Holdings group member is effective against the novel coronavirus, the Chinese government said on Tuesday.
The government has already begun officially recommending the drug’s use. Fujifilm Toyama Chemical developed favipiravir, sold under the brand Avigan.
“It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment,” said Zhang Xinmin, director of the science ministry’s China National Center for Biotechnology Development, in a news conference. Fujifilm Toyama Chemical developed the drug in 2014, and it has been provided to patients in Japan as treatment for the novel coronavirus since February.
The clinical trial was conducted at hospitals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, with 200 patients participating. Test results for those receiving the drug turned negative in a shorter period, and their pneumonia symptoms improved at a higher rate.
I do understand how people must be feeling right now in the Solomon Islands and ‘trying to put myself in your shoes.’ I would like to share some practical and sound advice that might be useful in coping with the ongoing anxiety over the threat imposed by coronavirus.
Fears about COVID-19 can take an emotional toll, but you’re not powerless and maybe these tips could help you get through a stressful time.
It’s a frightening time. We’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, with cities and even entire countries shutting down. Some of us are in areas that have already been affected by coronavirus. Others are bracing for what may come. And all of us are watching the headlines and wondering, “What is going to happen next?”
For many people, the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus is the hardest thing to handle. We don’t know how exactly we’ll be impacted or how bad things might get. And that makes it all too easy to catastrophize and spiral out into overwhelming dread and panic. But there are many things you can do—even in the face of this unique crisis—to manage your anxiety and fears.
It’s vital to stay informed, particularly about what’s happening in your community, so you can follow advised safety precautions and do your part to slow the spread of coronavirus. But there’s a lot of misinformation going around, as well as sensationalistic coverage that only feeds into fear. It’s important to be discerning about what you read and watch.
- ·Stick to trustworthy sources such as that given out by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services locally. Constant monitoring of news and social media feeds can quickly turn compulsive and counterproductive—fueling anxiety rather than easing it. The limit is different for everyone, so pay attention to how you’re feeling and adjust accordingly.
- ·Step away from media if you start feeling overwhelmed. If anxiety is an ongoing issue, consider limiting your media consumption to a specific time frame and time of
- ·Ask someone reliable to share important updates. If you’d feel better avoiding media entirely, ask someone you trust to pass along any major updates you need to know about.
- ·Be careful what you share. Do your best to verify information before passing it on start. We all need to do our part to avoid spreading rumors and creating unnecessary panic.
We’re in a time of massive upheaval. There are so many things outside of our control, including how long the pandemic will last, how other people behave, and what’s going to happen in our communities. That’s a tough thing to accept, and so many of us respond by endlessly searching the Internet and newspapers for answers and thinking over all the different scenarios that might happen. But as long as we’re focusing on questions with unknowable answers and circumstances outside of our personal control, this strategy will get us nowhere—aside from feeling drained, anxious, and overwhelmed.
When you feel yourself getting caught up in fear of what might happen, try to shift your focus to things you can control. For example, you can’t control how severe the coronavirus outbreak is in your community, should it occur, but you can take steps to reduce your own personal risk (and the risk you’ll unknowingly spread it to others), such as:
- ·washing your hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds) with soap and water or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- ·avoiding touching your face (particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth).
- ·staying home as much as possible, even if you don’t feel sick.
- ·avoiding crowds and gatherings of 10 or more people.
- ·avoiding all non-essential shopping and travelling.
- ·keeping 6 feet of distance between yourself and others when out.
- ·Get plenty of sleep which helps support your immune system.
Follow all recommendations from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.
It’s natural to be concerned about what may happen if your workplace closes, your children have to stay home from school, you or someone you love gets sick, or you have to self-quarantine. While these possibilities can be scary to think about, being proactive can help relieve at least some of the anxiety.
- ·Write down specific worries you have about how coronavirus may disrupt your life. If you start feeling overwhelmed, take a break.
- ·Make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of. Try not to get too hung up on “perfect” options. Include whatever comes to mind that could help you get by.
- ·Focus on concrete things you can problem solve or change, rather than circumstances beyond your control.
- ·After you’ve evaluated your options, draw up a plan of action. When you’re done, set it aside and resist the urge to go back to it until you need it or your circumstances significantly change.
Even though, thankfully the Solomon Islands has no reported case to-date of coronavirus, evidence shows that many people with coronavirus—particularly young, seemingly healthy people—don’t have symptoms but can still spread the virus. That’s why the biggest thing that most people can do right now to make a positive difference is to practice social distancing.
But social distancing comes with its own risks. Humans are social animals. We’re hardwired for connection. Isolation and loneliness can exacerbate anxiety and depression, and even impact our physical health. That’s why it’s important to stay connected as best we can and reach out for support when we need it, even as we cut back on in-person socializing.
- Make it a priority to stay in touch with friends and family. If you tend to withdraw when depressed or anxious, think about scheduling regular phone calls if it is possible.
- Social media can be a powerful tool—not only for connecting with friends, family, and acquaintances—but for feeling connected in a greater sense to our communities, country, and the world. It reminds us we’re not alone.
- Don’t let coronavirus dominate every conversation. It’s important to take breaks from stressful thoughts about the pandemic to simply enjoy each other’s company—to laugh, share stories, and focus on other things going on in our lives.
All of us are going to need reassurance, advice, or a sympathetic ear during this difficult time. But be careful who you choose as a sounding board. The coronavirus is not the only thing that’s contagious. So are emotions! Avoid talking about the virus with people who tend to be negative or who reinforce and ramp up your fears. Turn to the people in your life who are thoughtful, level-headed, and good listeners.
This is an extraordinarily trying time, and all the tried-and-true stress management techniques apply, such as eating healthy meals and getting plenty of sleep
. Beyond that, here are some tips for practicing self-care in the face of the unique disruptions caused by the coronavirus.
- ·Be kind to yourself. Go easy on yourself if you’re experiencing more depression or anxiety than usual. You’re not alone in your struggles.
- ·Maintain a routine as best you can. Even if you’re stuck at home, try to stick to your regular sleep, school, meal, or work schedule. This can help you maintain a sense of normalcy.
- ·Find ways to exercise. Staying active will help you release anxiety, relieve stress, and manage your mood.
At times like this, it’s easy to get caught up in your own fears and concerns it’s no coincidence that those who focus on others in need and support their communities, especially during times of crises, tend to be happier and healthier than those who act selfishly.
Reach out to others in need. If you know people in your community who are isolated—particularly the elderly or disabled—you can still offer support.
Be kind to others. An infectious disease is not connected to any ethnic group, so speak up if you hear negative stereotypes that only promote prejudice. With the right outlook and intentions, you ensure that kindness and charity spreads throughout your communities even faster than this virus we dread.
With reference to Help Guide International.