Answer these questions to yourself to find out how you have responded to coronavirus:

– Have you felt anxious or scared?
– Did you panic and rush out to buy food to store away for later use?
– Did you buy as many hand sanitizers as you could afford so that you could sell them off to others at a higher price?
– Are you carrying on your life as normal?
– Do you feel aggressive and angry towards people who have the virus?
– Have you started a care group to help those more vulnerable to the virus?
– Do you listen to the advice given by the government and follow it as best as you are able?
– Did you feel happy because you thought this was an extra holiday?

People have responded to the spread of coronavirus in so many different ways – all of the above and more! It’s important to realise that you do have a choice in the way you react to this difficult situation. One positive way to respond to the virus is to listen to the advice given to us from our government and the scientists and doctors who are working with the disease.

Not everyone is society is as vulnerable as others. Other countries have found that children are unlikely to get very sick and die from the coronavirus, although they can most definitely get and spread it. This is good news and we need to hope that this is true of South Africa too. However, many children in our country do suffer from poverty as well as pre-conditions such a TB and HIV so we need to be extra careful to limit the spread of this disease as much as possible.

Data regarding the disease shows that those over 65 as well as those who have certain underlying conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer or heart and lung diseases are much more vulnerable to having serious complications to the coronavirus. Many of our young people also have these conditions or other ones such as HIV. We can’t afford to carry on with our daily lives as if nothing is happening.

It is not a time to panic buy everything in the shops as other have done. There seems to be little risk to food production and its delivery to the shops. It is much better if you go about your normal shopping and not put others at risk by buying up all the hand sanitizers and tin food!  It’s also not a time to make a profit out of people’s worry and fear. And it’s certainly not a time to party – the disease is a threat, and can affect us all. We need to come together as a community and help everyone, especially the most vulnerable, to be able to overcome a very serious disease.

What is a healthy response to coronavirus?

1. Follow the advice given by the government and doctors
2. Follow all the practical steps to combat coronavirus, as described in another FunDza article: How to cope with the corona crises
3. Keep things in perspective
4. Get the facts from reliable sources but don’t spend all your time watching the news and becoming anxious
5. If you have children or younger siblings, tell them what is happening and tell them what they need to do to keep safe
6. Eat a balanced diet including vegetables
7. Exercise regularly
8. Set aside enough time for sleep/rest and for relaxing
9. Communicate with your friends and your family using technology such as WhatsApp
10. Continue with your spiritual practices at home
11. Find your entertainment via the internet or television
12. Practice mindfulness
13. Be kind and compassionate to others
14. Find a balance between work and life so that you have reserves of energy left if you get sick.