Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Psychological Implications of Coronavirus title=
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus
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Source: Santa Barbara County Department of Behavioral Wellness

With the daily rising number of COVID-19 cases in the United States and the potential for a pandemic, it is imperative that we be aware, and make others aware, of the psychological or mental health implications to this public health crisis.  Not only is it important to prevent panic from a psychological perspective, but also because panic can interrupt necessary containment and treatment efforts.  Being proactive in addressing psychological impact through education, information and tips on coping is critical to prevent longer term psychological harm or post-traumatic stress reactions. 

Below are some steps taken from the Kennedy Forum, that can be taken to lessen the psychological impact of the COVID-19 spread:

  • Recognize the potential for fear surrounding COVID-19 to transform into widespread panic and hysteria, which in turn may undermine public health authorities’ resources and response.

  • Communicate clear information based on science and facts to avoid the spreading of misinformation, while recognizing how cultural differences among communities may impact understanding and response to public health messaging.

  • Combat efforts to wrongly blame or link COVID-19 to already marginalized groups, which could perpetuate discrimination and deter people from seeking necessary testing or treatment.

  • Address the general mental health consequences of COVID-19 during and beyond its tenure. Past studies conducted in Hong Kong following the SARS epidemic found widespread feelings of helplessness, mental health deterioration, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder among residents.

  • Engagement of community mental health resources in case significant portions of the population are quarantined or isolated and therefore unable to receive in-person services. Special attention should be paid to older populations, those with developmental disabilities, and any other group with limited access to resources.

  • Consider the needs of those with existing mental health conditions who may have heightened psychological distress over COVID-19 that can harm their health and well-being.

  • If you feel that you or another could use extra mental health support, don’t be afraid to ask.


Helpful tools for coping include:

  • Physical Self-Care. Be attentive to eating, sleeping, exercising and maintaining as normal of a daily routine as possible.

  • Tending to your emotional health.  Know that others are experiencing emotional reactions as well.  Be patient with yourself and others.  Spend time talking with others.  Maintain connections with family and friends.  Seek counseling as needed.

  • Limit media exposure.  Though important to stay informed, try to limit TV and print media which can exacerbate stress symptoms.

  • Be attentive to others who may need extra support.  If you are feeling well, pay attention to the needs of others who may need extra support.  Signs of distress may show through changes in eating, sleeping, energy level and mood.  Connect with others.  Help connect others to counseling when needed.


The Behavioral Wellness Access Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1-888-868-1649.

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a-1583527058 Mar 06, 2020 12:37 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Hmm, I was thinking about going there to avoid the weekend crush but am glad I didn't. Where was the line, out the entry door or by the checkouts?

a-1583523162 Mar 06, 2020 11:32 AM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

This is good and needed info b/c many I know are stressing, especially if you have elderly parents or family. However, let's not get too PC about this with the "marginalized groups". We know where this originated. We know where SARS and even MERS originated. If we start with this "PC" thing, we'll never find out why these diseases seem to stem from certain locations and/or populations and hopefully stem the tide of any future diseases.

a-1583523211 Mar 06, 2020 11:33 AM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

There is nothing wrong with this article. People may have a lot to carry on their plate and this is an added burden. This is just pointing people to resources.

a-1583523721 Mar 06, 2020 11:42 AM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

When will we prioritize residents over tourists? This is all I want to know. Events need to be canceled. Residents do not want to be surrounded by people traveling to Santa Barbara for events or who travel by boat, train or air to visit. We should be focused on what steps we are taking to reduce the transfer of the Coronavirus to residents and forget about the tax revenue. I don't care about tax revenue. I care about making sure we don't import the Coronavirus because the City of Santa Barbara wants taxes from tourists. I am also concerned about our residents who will be unable to provide for their families if they are quarantined. How will they pay rent, buy food and get medical treatment? Will they stay quarantined? Already, back East a medial professional exposed people to the Coronavirus when they did not take the advice of their own medical provider who said they should quarantine themselves. Instead the person went to a social mixer and exposed people to the virus! What will Santa Barbara do if people won't quarantine themselves!? The City Council is made up a low IQ idiots for the most part who are controlled by special interest groups. I doubt we will see any good policies or decisions out of them, but we can hope that they somehow rise to the occasion. If you are concerned about this email them and tell them what you want before their public meeting on Tuesday - 3/10/20 - about the Cornoavirus: SBCityCouncil@SantaBarbaraCA.Gov

a-1583527360 Mar 06, 2020 12:42 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

How about telling them that we don't want cruise ship visits until after this is over ---- although many don't want any, anytime.

Yeti Mar 06, 2020 11:47 AM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

we need to encourage our LOCAL MEDIA to be more responsible.
Just take a brief look into the waiting room at the local Urgent Care Facilities. They are SWAMPED with locals that have Cold and Flu symptoms and are demanding that they are tested for Coronavirus.. What a huge waste of resources, professional time and anxiety for the citizen. The County Health and local media has to explain that this is really just another Flu Bug.. BFD. Wash your hands, go to work, pay taxes, eat well and drink a lot of water and you too will survive this just fine!
Stop allowing the media to control your life and emotions.

a-1583524713 Mar 06, 2020 11:58 AM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

This is why "Health Care For All" is such a rotten idea and nothing more than signing a blank check with no upper limits. Right now we are seeing Health Scare for All and it is not a pretty picture. Define "health care" well before you sign a blank check for whatever is now getting called "health care" - handing out free things on demand to the worried well.

a-1583606527 Mar 07, 2020 10:42 AM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Had to stop at an Urgent Care Facility yesterday. Not sick, asking for directions. Someone outside was coughing continuously, slumping in a chair, a young person. The staff looked tired and overwhelmed at the lines. Hope this is just a flu season thing, but the scene was sobering.

jqb Mar 06, 2020 12:10 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

"Communicate clear information based on science and facts to avoid the spreading of misinformation" -- Like this, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 31 with pulmonologist & critical care specialist Roger Seheult, MD of --

9310193441 Mar 06, 2020 01:10 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

If the City Council doesn't prohibit cruise ships, events and make good detailed plans for closing events we need to RECALL everyone of them. We also need to know how we can help our community members when the working poor are faced with quarantine or the lose of jobs due to the coronavirus. Santa Barbara workforce IS very fragile and we/they are going to be hard hit. Consumer spending drives the economy. When consumer spending comes to a halt with the Coronaviris we are going to be in REAL trouble. This IS going to get really BAD FAST.

a-1583530714 Mar 06, 2020 01:38 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

All these scare tactics - what is it that the government is trying to hide by drawing so much attention to something as bad as the flu? From Johns Hopkins Medicine site:
COVID-19: Approximately 3,347 deaths reported worldwide; 11 deaths in the U.S., as of Mar. 5, 2020.
Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.
Somebody is taking a lot of effort to keep everyone focused on the Covid-19 virus.

jqb Mar 06, 2020 04:12 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

No one is going door to door telling people "think about COVID-19!" (which is not "as bad as the flu", it is far more lethal); rather people focused on it because of natural concerns and hearing about it from many sources. There are lots of governments involved ... "the" government in the U.S. is actually downplaying it. And as been pointed out many many times, there are many millions of cases of the flu each year because it is uncontained and spread within the community, whereas COVID-19 is in the process of spreading, with major attempts to contain it; without those efforts, or if they fail, one can expect much much higher numbers of deaths, as has been seen in places like Wuhan. This is obvious, and so the comparison of number of COVID-19 cases to the number of flu cases is obviously nonsensical.

jqb Mar 06, 2020 06:36 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Look up "metaphor". "television ? any syndicated newsfeed?" -- exactly ... ANY newsfeed. Not "the government". "CNN is the worst culprit... might as well call them the Coronavirus News Network. they ranbits constantly on weds saying "Coronavirus: The Fears... The Facts... tune in tomorrow!" always pausing on "the fears". " -- all false.

rainmaker Mar 06, 2020 01:57 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Panic? What panic?<chats with neighbor, who has bunker stocked with ten kilos of TP>
OMFG - we might run low on toilet paper!!! Honey grab the keys, we need to stock up, pronto!!!! Seriously, there is no threat to the water supply and holy moly, as if running low on toilet paper would be a calamity.

a-1583532707 Mar 06, 2020 02:11 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Problem today is there are no free cell phone book giveaways, which were always the back-ups in the past. No one takes a daily print newspaper either. So unless they pay a "greedy corporation" for a commercial prodcut, they assume there is no back-up Plan B. The standard joke used to be old Sears catalogs, but too many people today would not even know what that meant. How did our First Nations deal with this in the past? Otherwise, this faux scarcity is merely a self-inflicted First World problem. What can we learn from our Elders from times past.

MountainMan4865 Mar 06, 2020 06:39 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Uh... our First Nations died. As for the "Sears Catalog"... well we have the phone book and we still subscribe to newspapers. I agree with the hysteria point, but you need to look up some history before you bring up First Nations. The book "1491" by Charles C. Mann would be a good start.

a-1583532988 Mar 06, 2020 02:16 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Read this if you want good new; ignore this if you thrive only on bad news: ..."ADM Brett P. Giroir, M.D., a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), reported today that the mortality rate of the coronavirus is likely between 0.1% and 1%. That would put it somewhere between being comparable to the flu and up to six times more lethal, but nowhere near the mortality rate that’s been reported thus far. The reason it is now believed by medical professionals who are examining the data that the mortality rate is lower than reported is because there are likely many more people infected than what’s publicly known. The disease is turning out to be so mild in some that they do not display symptoms before their body beats it. Others get mildly ill and do not go to the doctor at all...."

jqb Mar 06, 2020 03:49 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Giroir says that "many people don't get sick and don't get tested", but this is also true of the flu. What is being called the "mortality rate" is actually the Case Fatality Rate (, which is certainly higher than the actual mortality rate for almost all diseases because not all cases are diagnosed. But if you reduce the CFR for COVID-19 the way Giroir is doing (and Trump has done) based on *speculated unreported cases* and then compare that to the CFR for the flu that is based entirely on reported cases, then you're comparing apples to oranges. And extensive testing is going on in some places (e.g., China, South Korea) which never goes on for the flu, so the CFR for COVID-19 is closer to reality than the CFR for the flu, which is inflated (that is, the mortality rate is actually lower than .1%) The fact remains that COVID-19 is far more lethal than the flu. Cherry picking one person like Giroir (who was a political appointee) while ignoring experts and peer-reviewed science can get you whatever kind of news you want.

"The disease is turning out to be so mild in some that they do not display symptoms before their body beats it. "

I have no idea who supposedly said this, but it is inaccurate and misleading. "mild" as applied to COVID-19 means "not hospitalized". 90% of people who are infected by the virus (as determined by throat swabs, not symptoms) experience a fever, 80% get a dry cough, and 30% shortness of breath and malaise. Only about 1% are asymptomatic.

a-1583540813 Mar 06, 2020 04:26 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Yea but, does that mortality rate apply to those over 80? I'm not so worried about myself as I am about my elderly parents. I really would prefer this did not take them out as I personally lean towards this being man made and completely unecessary versus something that occurs in nature that you have to deal with.

jqb Mar 06, 2020 07:53 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

The mortality rate among those 80 and above is nearly 15%: But it's definitely not manmade (and why would that matter to you caring about its effect on your parents):

LCP112233 Mar 06, 2020 02:58 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Thank goodness I keep a lot of toilet paper on hand at all times. Wouldn't want to run out. Good thing too because it has really helped me get through this toilet paper crises. My mind is at ease.

rainmaker Mar 06, 2020 04:24 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Now that's grounds for optimism. I want a T shirt that says "I Survived the Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020". <not really>

rainmaker Mar 06, 2020 04:23 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

019 Your false optimism, with all due respect is not news. The conjecture that there are many more infecteds than we know of is old hat, and it is merely conjecture. Factually, the mortality rate varies widely. In China, I have seen rates >3%. However, contrary to the impression your post seems to asssert, nobody is claiming that rate would apply globablly. Sorry to burst the false optimism. Bring on the downvotes all you won't, it won't change the facts on the ground.

a-1583602026 Mar 07, 2020 09:27 AM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” (H.L Menken 1880-1956)

a-1583611842 Mar 07, 2020 12:10 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Thank you, SB Department of Behavioral Wellness, for the timely + helpful information, + for being on the frontlines of health care in our community 24/7/365. You work is appreciated!

RHS Mar 07, 2020 12:58 PM
Psychological Implications of Coronavirus

Another proof that our "Behavioral Wellness" department has lost it. They should be putting whatever resources they have in monitoring and identifying contagious health threats and providing medical information on how to be safe. This sort of poofy stuff is easy to do, doesn't require them to do field work or research and makes them feel good. It is a waste of our tax money however. The Board of Supervisors has become enthralled in this sort of imaginary service model to the detriment of expecting county departments to do actual work.

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