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How to cope with stress, anxiety amid COVID-19
Updated: 2020-03-20 06:20:06 KST
Today we speak to experts in Korea and the UK.
We're seeing a wave of panic across the world, with people emptying supermarket shelves queuing outside pharmacies and worried about leaving the house in case of contracting the coronavirus.
It's understandable that the pandemic is causing stress but for some of us, it's becoming all too much.
To discuss how we can handle panic and fear as a society, and on an individual level, we connect with Robert Dingwall, a sociologist and Professor of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University. We also have Suh Sooyeon, Professor of Psychology at Sungshin Women's University in Seoul.

Dr. Dingwall: The level of panic and the intensity seems to be on a different scale when compared to the SARS and MERS outbreaks. Why is that?

Dr. Suh: It's an emotional time, as people fear for their health and their loved ones too, especially if they're in quarantine or their loved ones contract the virus. But for some of us, it's all too much. What are some signs that you may be overly stressed by this pandemic, and what are the consequences?

Dr. Dingwall: What are the social, or societal consequences of people panicking, and reacting in fear?

Dr. Suh: Authorities are advising us to stay at home, and self-quarantine if we feel we may pose a health risk to others. Of course, in countries like Italy and Germany, whole cities have been shut down. But being isolated at home we are constantly exposed to depressing news stories.
How can we stop ourselves becoming too stressed?

Dr. Dingwall: Pandemics not only affect us physically but it disrupt social order, making us anxious as we don't know what to expect. What steps are needed to stabilize our societies and help us weather this storm?

Dr. Suh: How should people handle bad news and even grief, and also support those around them?

That's all we have time for today. But if you are feeling overly stressed, fearful or anxious about the coronavirus, call 1339 if you are in South Korea for counselling and support free of charge.
If you are watching this from another country, please seek support from your national healthcare provider as well.
Thank you for joining us today Dr. Robert Dingwall in Nottingham and Dr. Suh Soo-yeon in Seoul.
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